Kanye West was able to avoid felony charges that might have stemmed from a fight with a paparazzo at LAX over the summer. But in a twist of fate (or, you know, the American criminal justice system), it's that very incident that revealed an interesting piece of Kanye's past.

TMZ obtained a copy of Kanye's deposition for the case, wherein the producer reveals that he has been previously convicted of a felony. The incident, West reported, was related to a series of printer thefts at an Illinois Office Max in the year 2000. West was arrested for (and, he implied, charged with and convicted of the crime)--but he's not satisfied with the way law enforcement treated him.

West said that he was arrested for the crime--which he claims he did not commit--simply because he was black and wearing his hair in braids. At that point, Kanye was already a platinum-selling producer. He also alleges that the arresting officers doctored their report right in front of his eyes.

[TMZ]