The Rock & Roll hall-of-famer claims he worked with Kanye on DONDA for a year and still isn’t sure if he’s actually on the album.
According to the official credits, Kanye West enlisted north of two dozen vocalists and about 40 producers on his rapidly created and released new album, DONDA. And that doesn’t even account for the writers or those who contributed to the project but were ultimately cut as a casualty of Kanye’s chaotic workflow. André 3000 recently spoke out about being left off DONDA for delivering a (stellar) “unclean” verse for the project. But now another disgruntled DONDA collaborator has come forth in Todd Rundgren.
In a new interview with Ultimate Classic Rock, the soon-to-be hall-of-famer aired out his grievances with West and an album process he seems pretty sure was derailed by the imminent arrival of Drake’s Certified Lover Boy. “I’m one of the few artists not on Kanye’s album,” Rundgren tells the publication. “I have three albums worth of Kanye stems on my computer. Because I kept getting called by Kanye to add vocals onto the record. When it got into the homestretch in July, I just said, ‘That’s enough for me. I have no idea whether any of this is being used.’ You don’t get much feedback from him regarding what it is,” Rundgren adds before crediting 88-Keys for bringing him into the fold. From there, it seems Rundgren was growing increasingly wary of how West was treating his work for DONDA. “I’m still a producer, and I don’t just want to be like driftwood in the process. If I can contribute something, fine. If I can’t, just let me know. I’m out of here, ” the rocker flatly states. And yet for all of the trouble, Rundgren admits he’s still not entirely sure he’s not on the album. “There is a possibility that I’m actually in there somewhere. There’s so much junk in that record!”
Elsewhere in the candid chat, Rundgren appears to have secured enough distance from the project to reflect on some of the pressures West may have been facing. Namely, Certified Lover Boy. “In the end I realized why they hurriedly wrapped the whole thing up and put out what is obviously really raw, unprocessed stuff. It’s because Drake was running the whole process. He was too afraid that Drake would one-up him, so he hurried up and released the album the weekend before Drake could get his out. And in the end, Drake ate his lunch anyway.” Yikes.
Rundgren is set to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as part of this year’s class along with JAY-Z, Kraftwerk, Tina Turner, Gil Scott-Heron, and more. Tune into the ceremony on October 30th via HBO Max.