Nick Cannon. Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Nick Cannon claims his row with Kanye West was "pageantry" and he was happy to play along, while explaining the pair have both cleared the air privately.

The two stars clashed earlier this month after the 41-year-old star called out his friend for talking about his wife Kim Kardashian in a recent interview, and the 37-year-old rapper responded in kind.

Insisting that it was part of Kanye's usual "Yeezy promotion", he told Real 92.3's Big Boy's Neighborhood: "I was like, I'm gonna play the game he's playing... 'Ye at his best... I was like, 'Hey, I'm happy to be a part of the circus. Let's get to it.'

"And obviously again, to the core, I consider this dude a friend... I stood up for him when it was the 'slavery is a choice' [incident]; I've always been like, 'Yo, that's not what the man was trying to say.'

"And I even said that to him, I was like, 'Yo, I'm always gonna ride for you, even when you're wrong, 'cause that's what cats who ride with each other do... But I think a lot of it was pageantry, at the end of the day."

Nick - who urged Kanye not to tell him what he can and can't say amid the apparent feud - suggested the pair have already patched things up.

He added: "We didn't chop it up about the issue. It was more about, like, 'Man, it's been a minute,' and kind of getting back to it. That's why I was like, 'Alright that [video rant] probably was more for the public.

"And he said what he had to say, and I actually respect what he had to say, other than the fact that, you know, demanding me what I can and cannot say."

The row comes after Kanye criticised him for a Complex interview where he suggested it wasn't "far off of a concept" that Drake and Kim had slept together in the past.

In an Instagram post, he said: "First of all, I want to address Nick Cannon. I understand that you used to date my wife, but you know, you get into an interview, don't mention my wife.

"If someone brings up my wife you say 'Ye, I respect that man. I'm not speaking on that.' Don't be making no suggestions like somebody f**k my wife."