Getty Images

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.