Kanye Talks Early Influence, Dilla, & Meeting Michael Jackson on Hot 97
Kanye West continues his unprecedented streak of consecutive interviews with a stop at Hot 97‘s studio to chat it up with Pete Rosenberg and Cipha Sounds on their Juan Epstein podcast, dropping gems for days on his early influences, the genius of GOAT J Dilla‘s drums and getting a nod for his vocals on 808s & Heartbreaks from none other than Michael Jackson. A day and night change in his disposition from his appearance on Sway In The Morning, Ye was as cool and collected as he’s ever been. While this isn’t the first time we’ve heard him discuss his early impactors, Ye went in on how integral No ID was to his early production chops, citing his work on Common’s early albums as one of the first to synthesize NY’s production styles and Chi-town’s rawness.
There was some more nerdy banter, going through various drum machines used throughout his career, when asked as to whether he preferred the ASR-10 or the MPC, Yeezy claimed the informed middle ground, using both in his production method. Then against our better inclination, he claims the weakest aspect of his production to be his drums, which Dilla played an enormous part in fine-tuning, sharing his drum sounds and techniques with the fellow Mid-Western producer during their time recording Common‘s groundbreaking LP Be. When Rosenberg cites Kanye’s past admiration for the King of Detroit’s drum work and his self-diagnosed Achilles heal in production, Ye explains:
“100%. That man was a genius. Whatever he could do to tweak that MPC, he worked it. My drums, if you listened to my sonics, they wouldn’t compare to anything Dilla was doing.”
After professing his influence by our production patriarch, Kanye drops another story about who else, but Michael Jackson. Telling a strictly-Yeezy tale of hanging with the legend at Lyor Cohen‘s spot and showing him “The Good Life”, getting a whole lot of love from MJ on his vocals on the track, propelling him to drop his change of pace record 808s & Heartbreaks. To hear all these industry tales (and some good ol’ shit talking) straight from a seemingly elated Yeezy, click through to watch the Hot 97 interview in whole.