Speaking to Hot 97’s Pete Rosenberg and Laura Stylez, the rapper explained, “Well the logic was the same way you guys are giving me the platform. I think you guys have love for me, you guys have respect for me, and you guys think that I should have a say. I have a relationship with Ye. When he was going through a lot of the things he was going through, he would call me and he would actually listen to me and take my advice. So I felt I could control the situation. I felt that I could control the interview, and learned early on that I didn’t.”
N.O.R.E. went on to add that “as a Black man, I feel like I failed,” but justified his thought process that “as a journalist,” the controversial interview was considered a success. “Because as a journalist, you’re really not supposed to have an opinion,” he said. “You’re supposed to let people talk. And my biggest critique on Drink Champs is ‘N.O.R.E., you always cut people off!’ And this is the one time I didn’t cut the people, didn’t cut ’em off, and everyone’s mad.”
A bit later, the artist offered a mea culpa for providing his pal with a platform to broadcast what many critics are denouncing as hate speech, saying, “I sincerely apologize to anybody that was hurt by Kanye’s words, by Kanye’s actions.” However, he also claims he called out his longtime friend over his eyebrow-raising statements regarding George Floyd and the Jewish community within minutes of the interview starting.
Watch N.O.R.E.’s full walk-back of his interview with Ye below.