Monday, September 10, 2007


I know that people are coming to No Expiration to avoid artists that saturate the media, and I get it, so you may be surprised to see this particular entry. But I like Kanye West. I got to interview him years ago - it was at the Grammys. I don't know why he was there, because he wasn't nominated for anything, and his awesome debut album The College Dropout wasn't coming out for a few weeks. I knew him from the "Slow Jamz" single and video - it was an artist named Twista and it also featured Jamie Foxx singing the hook. Honestly, I didn't think much of the song, although I thought Jamie Foxx had a good voice.
Anyway, Kanye shows up at the Grammys with a guy dressed like the mascot, as seen on the cover of College Dropout. As this was a television interview, that was, well, funny. I wasn't even sure what I'd use the interview for, since I was there to shoot a package about the Grammys, not some guy who hadn't yet released his debut.
So, before we roll, Kanye tells me about his debut. I say, "Great, I'll ask you about 'Slow Jamz,'" it was a huge hit at the time, I didn't realize that it was also going to be on Kanye's album "and then we'll talk about the album." Great, roll tape.
I ask him about "Slow Jamz," and he's like, "Y'all know I got a new album coming out, right?" I just rolled with it, but I thought he was a pretty arrogant guy, which he was/is. At one point, he busted into the lyrics of "Spaceship" from the album: "if my manager insults me again, I will be assaulting him..." But, I felt, man, if he's really this confident, I'm willing to throw down $13 when the album comes out. I wasn't disappointed. I liked his followup, Late Registration, and I'm looking forward to Graduation, which hits tomorrow. I hope it does well, with all due respect to Mr. Cent. But if I had to put money down, I bet Kenny Chesney will win the day and have the #1 album.
Earlier this year, Kanye was on what I think will be the hip-hop track of 2007, called "Classic (Better Than I Ever Been)," it featured Kanye, Nas and KRS-One, and was produced by Rick Rubin exclusively for Nike sneakers. But the even better version was the remix by DJ Premier and which also featured Rakim for good measure. Weird that it was basically a commercial, but hey, if a sneaker company funds a better record than "record companies" are able to put out, what are you gonna do?

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