Music

Chaka Khan Still Hates “Through The Wire” Because She Sounds Like a “Chipmunk”

While on Good Day DC, soul and funk veteran Chaka Khan shared that she was “upset” at the sound of her voice on Ye’s “Through the Wire.”

Nearly 20 years later, Chaka Khan isn’t pleased with her her voice sounded on Ye‘s 2003 single “Through the Wire.” While appearing on Good Day DC on Monday (August 1) to promote her new song, “Woman Like Me,” Fox 5 correspondent Marissa Mitchell brought up Khan’s disdain for the Ye song, which sampled her 1984 song “Through the Fire.”

When asked if Ye got in touch with Khan to speak about her dislike of the sample, Chaka expressed that a conversation hasn’t occurred and that she was unwilling to speak with the Donda 2 rapper, telling Mitchell that the 2003 song made her “upset about sounding like a chipmunk.”

“[Kanye] didn’t mention that he was gonna speed it up, you know, three times its normal speed,” Khan said. “Had he, I would’ve had something to say. But since I didn’t think of that, believe me, I think of it now. I ask, ‘How are we gonna do this?’”

Over the years, Khan has spoken at length about “Through the Wire,” last on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, where she explained that Ye approached her after his 2002 hospitalization.

“He said, “You were so instrumental in my healing process,” Khan recounted. “I changed the words a little bit to the song but I had to eat through a wire. Jaws wired shut through a straw.” It meant that much to me. It really got my heart, tugged at my string. I was like, yeah, use it.”

After hearing the song, Khan shared that she wouldn’t have offered the sample if she knew her vocals would be sped-up.

“Then when it came out, I was pissed,” she said. “It was a little insulting. Not insulting, I thought it was stupid. If I’d known he was gonna do that, I would have said, “Hell no.”

Jaelani Turner-Williams

Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with bylines at Billboard, MTV News, NYLON, Recording Academy and more. Read her mind on Twitter at @hernameisjae.

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