American music star Kanye West has said he “used to be scared to talk to a gay person” and clarified comments that gay people dress better than heterosexuals.

Hip hop has been branded a homophobic form of music because of the anti-gay lyrics used by some artists. Mr West has repeatedly spoken out against homophobia.

In an interview with MTV he said:

“I used to be scared to talk to a gay person. In hip-hop, there’s people – and let’s not even say scared like homophobic – but they’re scared of the way people gonna look at them.”

Mr West also said a previous statement that gay men had inspired him how to dress had been misinterpreted.

“There’s a lot of gay people who don’t dress good at all. There’s a lot of gay people that I dress way better than,” the multi-award winning producer said.

He has been the subject of rumours about his sexuality because of his interest in fashion.

“Stereotypically gay people got such good [style] … they were smart enough to take a fresh-ass logo like the rainbow and say that it’s gonna be theirs,” he said.

“I’ve been collecting all of the freshest stuff that’s rainbows – Denver Nuggets jerseys, BAPE shoes, Nikes with rainbows on ‘em – and saying, ‘Man, I think as straight men we need to take the rainbow back because it’s fresh.’”

During a concert in New York last year Mr West told his fans:

“Coming from Chicago, where if you saw somebody that was gay you were supposed to stay ten feet away.

“It took me time to break out of the mental prisons I was in. The stereotypes of the fear of the backlash that I would get if you don’t believe what I believe in, accepting people for who they are.

“I’ve flown across the world y’all, and I’ve come back here to tell you—open your minds and live a happier life.”