A-Trak Says He Introduced Kanye West to Daft Punk
Kanye West's "Stronger" from his 2007 album Graduation is one of the biggest crossover hits of his career but it wasn't 'Ye who found the Daft Punk song to flip; it was his former tour DJ and current Fool's Gold head honcho A-Trak. The popular DJ and record label owner annotated some of Kanye's songs for Genius recently and told the story of how "Stronger" came to be.
"I gave him that sample. I’m the culprit," writes A-Trak. "And I didn’t want him to sample it, that’s what’s funny. It sort of happened because Swizz Beats sampled 'Technologic' for that Busta Rhymes record, 'Touch It.' We were on tour in Europe in 2006, spending a lot of hours on the bus listening to the radio. Kanye heard 'Touch It' and thought that beat was cool. I said, 'He just swooped up Daft Punk.' And 'Ye said, 'Who?' I just couldn’t believe that Kanye had never heard Daft Punk.
Later on, we were planning a tour after that and we were pulling up samples and things to add over songs in the live performances. I pulled up the acapella for “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” and he just looked at me like 'There’s an acapella?' And said 'Yeah, it’s on the 12-inch, everyone has it.' He said, 'Do you know how much we struggled to mix that fucking beat because I sampled it with the drums in it from the breakdown? You mean to tell me that there was a fucking acapella?' In the Daft Punk original, there’s a breakdown with just the little compressed drums and the vocals. He sampled that and put his drums over it. The big challenge was how to work his drums around the drums in the sample. That was funny."
A-Trak also gave interesting revelations on "Gold Digger," which is relevant today because a a previously unseen performance of the song by Kanye West and John Legend popped up today. The performance is from 2003 and comes long before the final edition of "Gold Digger" came to fruition. Peep it below: