John Legend opens up about his early friendship and collaboration with Kanye West in his new Audible Authentic challenge Residing Legend.
“Whereas different MCs could have been carrying throwback jerseys and rapping about dealing coke over his beats, Kanye, he stood out,” the EGOT winner remembers in a clip premiering completely on Billboard beneath. “He was extra preppy, he wore his polos and his collegiate put on, and he was lyrically exploring totally different subjects like his personal insecurities and his relationship with God.”
Even past how West differed from his hip-hop contemporaries of the time, Legend credited the budding celebrity with serving to put a contemporary spin on his 2004 debut Get Lifted, which might set up Legend as a rising R&B star after its high 5 peak on the Billboard 200.
“It was so essential for me to work with Kanye at that time in my profession,” he stated. “He actually elevated my sound and made it really feel extra pressing and extra prepared for prime time. He introduced his hip-hop drums and sensibility along with my musicality and my roots and gospel and soul, and we made one thing that was recent and delightful.
“I used to be extra of an previous soul and I believe, left to my very own gadgets, my music wouldn’t have been as cool with out somebody like Kanye influencing me. And Get Lifted grew to become what it was as a result of we labored collectively, as a result of [of] our connection, due to our merging of our sounds. And I additionally had a reasonably important affect on The Faculty Dropout as effectively. You hear my voice and musicianship on a whole lot of his data too, even once you don’t realize it’s me.”
Nonetheless, Legend’s once-close kinship with West hit a roadblock when the “Surprise Lady” singer selected to not help his pal’s ill-fated bid for the presidency in 2020, as an alternative campaigning for Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
Take heed to a preview of Legend’s Residing Legend audio challenge beneath.