Pop icon Michael Jackson “tore down the walls and the doors” of culture, according to Kanye West.
The 43-year-old rapper has defended the reputation of the late pop star in a new interview with Pharrell Williams for i-D magazine, seemingly speaking in reference to the Dan Reed-directed documentary Leaving Neverland.
Kanye said: “We should have something that says we can’t allow any company to tear down our heroes.
“Not on The Shade Room, not on social media and especially not in documentaries.”
Leaving Neverland focused on claims made by Wade Robson and James Safechuck, both of whom accused Jackson of sexually abusing them when they were children.
But Kanye has reiterated his support for the record-breaking star, who denied any wrongdoing before his death in 2009, and has compared his cultural impact to that of Pharrell.
The rap star said: “It felt like you [Williams] really tore down the walls and the doors much like Michael Jackson did a generation before. In a way, he’s very similar to Michael Jackson, in the ways where Michael Jackson was doing covert, super gangsta stuff, like he’d just pop the needles off.
“He kissed Elvis Presley’s daughter on MTV. Black culture used to be … we used to be fronting all night, but Michael was doing stuff that was different to what we were programmed to understand as being what we should do.”
Last year, meanwhile, Chance the Rapper admitted to being inspired by Jackson’s charitable efforts.
The “Cocoa Butter Kisses” hitmaker revealed Jackson has encouraged him to give back to his own community.
Chance said: “I think he donated over $600 million to charities and more afterwards … The only person I can really think of off the top when I think of charity that’s a musician is Michael Jackson.”