Last November, when Kanye West told Mixtape Monday that his new artist Mr Hudson would potentially be bigger than him, many people wondered: Who is this guy? And when MTV News caught up with both artists recently on the set of Hudson's "Supernova" video, he joked that he was miffed by the comment.
"Yeah, it's really annoying, actually," he laughed. "Now I got loads of work to do to try and live up to that."
With the clip for "Supernova" premiering next week and the single leaking to the Web on Wednesday (May 13), Mr Hudson is preparing to repay [artist id="1230523"]Wests'[/artist] vote of confidence — although he did admit he was intimidated by the big song at first.
Hudson recalled the day Kanye came into the studio with a smile on his face and a gift for his protégé: "I said, 'Oh, no, it's a Jesus piece. I can't wear that.' Or, 'Maybe it's a hand-me-down Jaguar or something like that.' But no, [Kanye] turned to the engineer and said, 'Press play,' and it was this huge chorus."
Hudson said he normally wouldn't have written a hook like that and that it sounded nothing like his first album, A Tale of Two Cities, which was quieter and more cautious.
But working with Kanye has boosted his confidence. "I don't really write choruses like that, perhaps because I don't see myself as being that big, stadium-filling artist, or I didn't, but I suppose the last six months has given me the confidence to say, 'You know what? I would like to play to stadiums full of people. I would quite like to sell loads of records to have a Jaguar of my own.' "
Kanye said he likes to bring that out of his artists: "I usually try to inspire my artists to not give a f--- and just try to go all out, because it's only one life to live."
Hudson worked with West and a team of others, including Kid Cudi and No ID, last summer to make West's 808s & Heartbreak. He said the two had begun to overlap in some of their emotions from working so closely, which allowed them to build the rest of "Supernova" together. The duo wanted the video, which was shot in the Thompson Hotel in Beverly Hills, to reflect that common bond.
"I think it was really important that we weren't Simon & Garfunkel or two [members] of 'NSYNC, like a boy band singing together to camera," Hudson said. "It's more like we're two guys that happen to be in a hotel, but maybe the link is like shared headspace, the emotion of what we're going through.
"We didn't want to be too 'broski' about it," Hudson added. "There's not that many high-fives."
"Broski is like my favorite word," West said.