“I look up to that guy like crazy,” 40 told MTV News. “I always have and I always will. That’s someone who’s carved out a sound for rap music a couple of times, who has really influenced and changed the game as an individual. It would be crazy to say there’s competition.”
In the August/September 2010 issue of Vibe, 40 said that ‘Ye accused him of “borrowing” his sound. But the producer says people should understand the difference between stealing another artist’s style and being influenced by that artist.
“You’re supposed to be a hybrid,” he says. “When you got T.I. and Nas and Jay-Z and Wayne and Kanye and Eminem, all these different types of rappers from different places and so on and so forth, I would expect a couple of years after that a new rapper would comes out who incorporates all of those people. Because that’s the evolution of it and that’s what will always happen, so I don’t even look at it as like biting or stealing or this or that.”
40 added that, regardless of whatever the issue may be, he is a fan of Kanye and is thankful for his influence.
“I’m grateful to any and everybody that’s ever influenced me, including Mr. West,” he said. —Gina Montana