Kanye West Will ‘Never Sell Out,’ Thanks To J Dilla

Yeezy pays homage to the late producer in a new documentary.

Kanye West may be one of the biggest stars around these days — grabbing as much attention for his marriage and public antics as his music — but don’t forget: He’s a hip-hop head at heart.

That fact is probably why he appeared in “Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton,” a documentary about Stones Throw Records, an outfit widely respected in rap’s underground. It’s also why he said what he did about the late J Dilla, one of the artists on the label and an individual whose work greatly impacted ‘Ye. It’s a fact that he’s admitted before (he said Dilla influenced Yeezus, for instance), and reiterated again in the film.

Dilla, a Detroit native who is regarded as a legendary producer and was a rapper, as well, passed away in 2006.

“We gotta make music and think, ‘If Dilla was alive, would he like this?’” Kanye said. “I have to work on behalf of Dilla. When I put a weird-ass Jamaican sample, it works at first but it’s not until I put the [makes discordant musical noise] that it sounds like art or sounds slightly wrong. And now it’ll go to the radio now that it’s wrong, motherf–ker. Now play this. Play this 5-minute song that completely f–ks up your programming. The best respect that we can pay to great artists that have inspired us so much is to never sell out.”

Check out the full half-hour clip below.