Kanye West Rushed "DONDA" Release Cause Of Drake, Says Todd Rundgren
It's well documented that Kanye West's current album creation process is collaborative, arguably to a fault. Featuring contributions from what can only be described as a Noah's Arc's worth of rappers, singers, and instrumentalists, DONDA's liner notes are almost biblical in scope.
Yet not everyone is in favor of such a practice. Todd Rundgren, the legendary multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, producer, and recent Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame inductee found the experience of working on DONDA to be a frustrating experience. Rundgren recently vented about working with Kanye during an interview with UCR, revealing that none of his contributions ended up making the final cut.
Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images"I'm one of the few artists not on Kanye's album," Rundgren tells UCR. "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."
Having been brought into the fold by producer 88 Keys, Rundgren quickly learned that his own approach to production differed from Kanye's. "I’m still a producer, and I don’t just want to be like driftwood in the process," he explains. "If I can contribute something, fine. If I can’t, just let me know. I’m out of here. There is a possibility that I’m actually in there somewhere. There’s so much junk in that record!"
Kevin Mazur/Getty ImagesHe goes so far as to call Yeezy a "shoe designer," writing him off as a "dilettante." "Nobody would regularly make records like that unless they had stupid money to throw around," says Rundgren. "Nobody rents a stadium to make a record in. Nobody flies in the entire world of hip-hop just to croak one syllable, just so you can say that everybody was on it.
"My involvement went on for a year, and in the end I realized why they hurriedly wrapped the whole thing up and put out what is obviously really raw, unprocessed stuff," he concludes. 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."
Clearly, not everybody seems to hold Kanye in high regard, and Rundgren's "dilettante" diagnosis is particularly scathing. In spite of the critics, however, many have responded favorably to DONDA; some have even declared the project to be a masterpiece. It's interesting to hear Rundgren speculate that Kanye rushed his album release to avoid a Drake takeover, a claim that will likely stir the pot even further.