Cornerstone Credentials: Kanye West
We all know Kanye West raps — and sometimes directs short films — but the Chicago superstar wants to make it clear that he’s still a problem behind the boards.
‘Ye is responsible for some of the most soulful hip-hop tracks of all time, from Beanie Sigel’s wailing “Nothing Like It” and Talib Kweli’s thunderous “Get By” to Shyne’s eerie “More or Less.” But, without question, his best work has been with his big brother, Jay-Z — a fact that some people still sleep on, Yeezy said.
“You know what’s so bugged?” he said. “I had a friend that didn’t realize I produced the last Jay-Z album. Because I’m such a notorious pop character, such a hated guy, or a loved guy, controversial or whatever it is, that people kind of forget that I sit and work hard as hell on beats. I listened to CDs for three days to find the ‘Live Fast Die Young’ sample, which was ‘If This World Were Mine’ flipped by the Bar-Kays. And I loved the sample so much that I played it for two days. Just over and over and over, and I thought about it and said, ‘Claps. I want handclaps to go with this sample. That’s what I need to juxtapose it and not make it just some takeoff of a ’94 hip-hop song, but to make it a 2010, 2011, 2012 futuristic version of itself.’ And I started the claps and put the ‘hey, hey, hey’ and the drums, and I just programmed it. It’s kind of important for people to realize I’m a producer also.”
Next up, Kanye will be wrapping up his forthcoming album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, and then producing his and Jay-Z’s collaborative project, Watch the Throne.
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