Kanye West Rocked Chaka Khan Like Nobody’s Business, Long Before Through The Wire (Audio)
In September of 2003, Kanye West made his solo debut with “Through the Wire,” a song he wrote and recorded while his jaw was literally wired shut following a car accident. It famously samples Chaka Khan’s “Through the Fire,” a 1985 single whose profile with a new generation was raised tremendously thanks to the success of ‘Ye’s 2004 debut LP, College Dropout.
Fans of West’s early work will likely be delighted to hear a freshly un-vaulted track of his which may date back as far as the late ’90s. Along with fellow Chicagoans GLC, Timmy G, Really Doe, and Arrowstar, West formed the Go-Getters and dropped “Baby’s Coming.” Heads might recognize the sounds of Rufus & Chaka Khan, namely the legendary Funk group’s “Ain’t Nobody,” the 1983 song sampled on today’s vintage Kanye offering. Though he only raps on the first verse, Kanye’s contribution provides one of the greatest examples of just how far he’s come as an artist.
Earlier this year, Kanye fans were treated to more rarely heard material in the form of a 1997 beat-tape from the then-fledgling producer. A fan digitized a cassette tape with “Kanye’s Beat Sept. ’97” on the label, and uploaded for Heads to hear. Eight tracks in total, the productions showcased a sample-savvy style, quite different from West’s later Roc-A-Fella Records work. If anything, the tracks more aligned with some of the programming and arrangements heard on 2010s work on his own album, or tracks for Pusha T.
West recently made the news, not for his music, but due to his personal life. Earlier this month, West ended his set, at the Meadows Music & Arts Festival, early, and exited the stage hurriedly. Prior to leaving, he told the audience “I’m sorry, there’s a family emergency, I have to stop the show.” Shortly thereafter, it was reported that the family emergency to which West was referring was news that he received about his wife, Kim Kardashian West, being held at gunpoint by two men in Paris. The robbers allegedly made off with millions of dollars worth of the celebrity’s jewelry. Certain publications later accused Kardashian of faking the robbery and filing fraudulent insurance claims. In turn, Kardashian is suing for libel.
In any case, this previously unreleased Kanye track is a found jewel and, hopefully, there are more to come.