With 2024 quickly approaching, Chaka Khan won’t be entering the new year by holding onto a long-standing grudge against Kanye West.
Roomies, in case you weren’t aware, the funk diva hasn’t exactly been fond of Mr. West ever since he sampled her 1984 song ‘Through The Fire.’ 20 years later, the track was reintroduced to music lovers, particularly Hip-Hop fans, when Ye sampled the classic for his 2004 debut album ‘The College Dropout.’
Chaka Khan Didn’t Give Kanye Permission To Speed Up Her Vocals
The track, titled ‘Through The Wire,’ featured Khan’s sped-up vocals. But West never asked for her permission to use her voice in such a way, which led her to resent the Grammy winner.
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, the 70-year-old declared that she has finally let go of her “silly grudge” against Ye, indicating her readiness to move on from the past.
“I’m done,” she insisted. “Please. I’m not hanging on to any silly grudges.” She added to her response by elaborating that she didn’t necessarily listen to Hip-Hop in general.
Kanye West – Through the Wire (2003)
Chaka Khan – Through the Fire (1984) pic.twitter.com/mh65Tc4FH6
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Rap artists have commonly sampled songs from the ’80s and ’90s, similar to how West did it on his album. But Khan explained that because she wasn’t in tune with rap music, the singer wasn’t aware of the fact that sampling other tracks in rap was very common.
“That was my fault, too, for feeling salty about that in any way,” she continued. “Because if I understood the rap game more completely, like I do now, then that wouldn’t have been a big deal to me.”
Chaka Khan Previously Called Kanye’s Version “Stupid”
In 2019, Khan revealed her sentiments during a conversation on Andy Cohen‘s talk show “Watch What Happens Live.’
When asked about her thoughts on West’s usage of her song, the ‘Ain’t Nobody’ artist didn’t hold back. When Khan heard the song for the first time, she remembered feeling displeased and proceeded to call West “stupid” for altering the pitch of her voice, per XXL.
She explained that West initially asked permission to use the song shortly after his near-fatal car accident in 2002.
He explained to her that listening to ‘TTF’ had helped him navigate through some dark times during his recovery process, suggesting a deeper significance to the sample beyond just featuring Khan’s vocals.
But the final version unpleasantly surprised her because the song didn’t sound anything like West’s initial plan for the track. Khan felt the result didn’t fit or respect the original piece.
“He called me when he’d just got out of the hospital. He said: ‘You were so instrumental in my healing process. I had to change the words a little bit to the song, but I had to eat through a wire, you know, and I was wired shut, through a straw.’ Blah, blah, blah. ‘It meant that much to me.’”
She concluded, telling Cohen that she would have never agreed to her classic being used in such a manner if she had known how West intended to use her vocals.
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