We dug into the crates for this installment of Throwback Thursday and uncovered the first of many, many WTF moments Yeezy has blessed us with over the years. In this MTV News classic, ’Ye hangs in the studio with none other than guitar slanger John Mayer (way before he dated Katy Perry and said things that might have gotten that invitation revoked ) and the two explain how the oddest of couples came to be.
“People wanted to know what happens when one of the sexiest, flyest mother—ers in the whole game … and Kanye West get together to hang out in the studio and find out how does a hit happen,” a confident, preppy Mayer said at the time, eliciting a chuckle from the equally prep school-attired Yeezus.
The occasion was a session for the song “Bittersweet,” a soulful ballad that was slated for inclusion on ’Ye’s Graduation album, but which, sadly, did not make the final cut. Laced with a classic loping Kanye beat and Mayer’s signature scratchy vocals and languid guitar, the recording went much smoother than the pair’s initial meeting.
Copping to his not-so-flyness, Mayer joked about how he completely fumbled the first greeting, going in for a regular hug when a bro hug was in order, shaking hands instead of giving a pound and generally making things totally awkward. Then again, over the next few years, doing weird things in public would sort of become both men’s MO.
At one point, Kanye realized his Jesus piece was making too much background noise while they were trying to nail the song, with Mayer trying to make him feel better by saying that he’d left his bling at home to avoid that very situation. The head-scratcher of the day, however, belonged to ’Ye, who asked the burning question of the new millennium, “why do black people like John Mayer?”
Oh jeez, and Mayer being Mayer, he had a quick answer, something about how if he were Kanye he wouldn’t want someone like himself, “pushing my tongue out” and trying to act all fly. “I would like to have a little bit of respect for being the guy who still says things like, ’The folks are gonna love that’ around a bunch of black people,” Mayer explained.
But maybe the genre mix up wasn’t that weird after all. Keep in mind, Mayer informed us, he’s not just some dorky dude wearing a Casio watch and driving around in a Ford Focus. No, in fact, the platinum $40,000 timepiece he was shining cost more than twice as much as ’Ye’s Jesus piece.
“That means he’s way more stuntastic,” Kanye admitted. “Go back and listen to ’Daughters’ … bitches,” Mayer counseled. Yeah, that actually happened.