The artist sat down with Jason Lee for Hollywood Unlocked, where he opened up about what went down after he was involved in an alleged confrontation in Los Angeles earlier this week. The "Touch the Sky" rapper is under investigation by the LAPD after he was named a suspect in a battery report. West explained that he wanted to set the record straight, explaining that what people have heard and seen "can't be captured in a headline."
"So as far as the paparazzi goes, right, like, it wasn't a fan," he begins. "It was 3 a.m. in front of the warehouse. I'm saying, 'You don't know what I'm dealing with right now.' I just finished these two songs, I came from the studio. I created the record, this impromptu shoot, and my cousins went and did really deliver the mission. And this dude just, he just had this real attitude, like, 'Whatchu gonna do? And see that?' Imma just tell you, that blue COVID mask ain't stop that knockout, you know what I'm saying."
When asked by Lee if it was the "taunting, the disrespect, the disregard for your privacy" that made him upset, West replied, "It's all of that, but that's what Hollywood be."
"Look, man, I love the paparazzi. I love the press, I love the media, everything," he continued. "But then they send those two, probably like some agents or something to really gaslight the situation. This can't be captured in a headline. This is the reason why I wanted to sit down and talk to you directly and talk to the world about exactly what happened."
West alleged that the person asking for his autograph was not a fan, but a person "taking autographs to make money on them."
"This is the same as the paparazzi, this is not a fan. This is someone who is using your image, who probably never listened to your songs, are ones that are like, 'This is my song, for real?'" he said, explaining that during that same time, his female cousins came back after attempting to talk to estranged wife Kim Kardashian West about personal parenting matters. "So now my cousins are coming back and they have not delivered on it. So I end up getting into an altercation with the guy that wanted to make money off of my autographs, then my cousin pulls up and she's talking to me. I say, 'Give me a breather. Get away from me.' She is not taking accountability for the fact that she did not do what she was supposed to do, and that added to me being in a mood where I was like, 'I am not going to have this.'"
"Everyone is using me. Everyone is on my payroll and everyone is using me," he stated, sharing that the reason that paparazzi were able to get video of his altercation was that his cousin "was not going to get away from me."
And while he alleged that he was just arguing with his cousin, West said the media used it to "try to flip it to something negative."
"This is from the horse's mouth. I told you all before, y'all are not fit to be in charge of my narrative. I told you before, I am taking my narrative," West expressed. "I am writing my narrative. Why don't you all go do something, you know what I mean, other than trying to bring somebody down."
According to the LAPD, the incident was reported at around 3 a.m. Thursday morning in the Arts District. Police say they are investigating the alleged incident and no arrests have been made. According to FOX LA, which first broke the news, West allegedly punched a man and knocked him to the ground after an autograph request.
ET spoke with Lee on Friday, where he shared insight on his conversation with West and noted that while the video captured shows a guy on the ground, West did not admit to hitting anyone.
"Well we didn't see Kanye punch him, so who knows. My thing is, if you don't have the direct evidence, it didn't happen. He didn't say that he knocked the guy out, he didn't admit to knocking the guy out," he explained. "He said that the blue mask couldn't protect him from what was to come. There were other people there in the video, who knows the specific details. But I think when you see the interview, it's a very different Kanye then you see in the video with the paparazzi."
As for the rapper's state of mind, Lee had nothing but great things to say.
"Kanye, in person, without the cameras, without the audience, he's calm, he's very thoughtful, very much in his creative bag right now. He's been in the studio every day for hours on hours on hours working on Donda 2. I've heard some of the music, it's really amazing," Lee shared. "I think he's focused on himself right now. But I will say, in conversation with him, he is a creative person and there's a lot going on from fashion to the music. But you know, there's the reality that he's going through with his wife and the family that he feels is very manipulative in the media and that controls the narrative."