Sounds like Kanye West is making a soulful return to his sonic roots. Yes, Yeezy has spread his musical wings past the swift soul samples he used to make his name in the early 2000s with tracks like Hov’s “Izzo” and Twista’s “Overnight Celebrity.” Now, the G.O.O.D. Music leader just may be making a return to the type of tunes that made him famous.
“I got a record on Kanye’s new project that I guess he’s been working on for a minute now,” Heatmakerz producer Rsonist told MTV News. “Anybody that’s familiar with Heatmakerz, it’s old-school, epic Heatmakerz, like soul music at its best. Kanye reached out to us because he wanted that old Heatmakerz sound.”
In his early days West’s signature was a soulful-yet-speedy sound where he’d raise the pitch on old-school samples like Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes “I Miss You” and the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” to make new hits for Jay-Z’s Roc-A-Fella Record label. Kanye didn’t invent the sound, nor was he the only one doing it, but he certainly popularized it. The Heatmakerz, a successful New York production outfit, were also making similar styled beats producing for Cam’ron’s Diplomats (“I’m Ready,” “Dipset Anthem”) and Lil Wayne (“Receipt”). Most recently, Rsonist and the Heatmakerz collaborated with Bronx, New York, MC Fred the Godson on his new Contraband mixtape .
Yeezy has added other sounds to his production palette. On his 2005 album Late Registration, West partnered with noted musician Jon Brion and included more live instrumentation in his music, and then with 2008’s 808s & Heartbreak, he began to experiment with Auto-Tune and more melodic arrangements. There is no telling where Kanye’s audio will go on his upcoming sixth solo LP, but according to Rsonist, for at least one track, we’ll get a glimpse of the old ’Ye. “We all came up together during the whole Jay-Z Roc-A-Fella era and all that so yeah, it’s typical Heatmakerz,” he described. “Old-school soul music. It’s dope.”
What’s your favorite Kanye West soul beat? Let us know in the comments!