Kanye West’s Most Random Collaborations
Okay so let’s face it: Kanye West is a pretty random guy. He likes what he likes, and has no qualms about representing for it, whatever it may be. When it comes to collaborations, sometimes Kanye aligns with the expected, i.e. guys like Jay Z, even Kid Cudi. But then there are those other times. The ones where you’re asking Kanye, “Wait, how do you know that person?” There have been a few of those during Kanye’s tenure in the spotlight, and we’ve listed some for you to check out. Continue reading to peep the randomness.—KI
By the time Kanye’s career hit 2007, he was already pretty prominent within hip-hop. So when he opted to produce and appear on Japanese rap group Teriyaki Boyz’ single “I Still Love H.E.R.” and “Teriyaking” (with Big Sean) heads were confused. Matter of fact, we’re still confused by this one. Sidebar: what the hell ever happened to the Teriyaki Boyz?
It might’ve been the Spike Jonze connection here (he’s related to a N.A.S.A. bandmate), but when Kanye West showed up on Squeak E. Clean and DJ Zegon’s (a.k.a. N.A.S.A.) “Gifted,” it was a bit of a surprise. Then again, that whole first N.A.S.A. project had some pretty stellar collaborations.
After the DJ Skream remix to La Roux’s “In For The Kill” showed up on an episode of Entourage, it seemed like every single rapper tried remixing the song, from Game to Jim Jones, French Montana and many others. Who got on the official remix though? Yeezus. Of course he did.
30 Seconds To Mars
Kanye showing up on 30 Seconds to Mars’ “Hurricane 2.0” was pretty odd, since it feels like both Jared Leto and Kanye West think they’re the coolest guys in any room. However, let’s not forget that 30STM covered Kanye’s “Stronger,” the most random cover song ever.
Katy Perry is no stranger to collaborating with rappers. We know this. But what makes their collaboration on “E.T.” so weird is that Katy barked on Kanye over Twitter several times following his “I’ma let you finish” speech to Taylor Swift at the MTV VMAs. Forgive and forget, right?
Canadian singer/songwriter Esthero has popped up a few times throughout Kanye West’s career. She was a prominent writer on 808s And Heartbreak, as well as the voice of J.A.N.E. the robot for his Glow In The Dark Tour. Esthero was also the background voice on the Yeezus Tour.
The way the story goes is that Kid Sister was dating Kanye West’s DJ A-Trak at the time, heard the Chi-Town juke princess’ track “Pro-Nails,” loved it and hopped on the track. While there was a clear family tie with that one, it was still an odd pairing, and Kanye gave Kid Sis one of her biggest songs to date.
There was nothing more random than the extended version of “All Of The Lights” featuring everyone and their mother. Elton John was part of the “everyone,” but then again so were Fergie, Elly Jackson (of La Roux), The-Dream, John Legend, Alicia Keys, and others. Check the roster, because your name might be on there too.
Sometimes we can understand when Kanye would align with certain rappers, because they were either from Chicago, or they had some affiliation to someone Ye was super cool with. L.A. underground kings Dilates Peoples though? Random. Though 'Ye delivers an excellent verse on their track “This Way,” with the awesome quotable: “I don’t know what’s better: gettin’ laid or gettin’ paid, I just know when I’m gettin’ one the other’s gettin’ away.”
German Techno DJ WestBam dropped a track with Kanye this Summer called “Radio Siberia.” While it does seem really weird that Kanye would appear on a random ass track like this, it kind of makes sense given Kanye’s current trajectory.
Here’s yet another strange friendship of Kanye’s. Scottish DJ Hudson Mohawke has worked with Kanye on a number of different projects, and is even a part of G.O.O.D. Music now. 'Ye seems to make friends wherever he goes.
Everyone on “Monster” made sense in a way. Except of course for Bon Iver. Lead singer Justin Vernon providing a pretty haunting hook for the song, which fit the crux of the track perfectly. So that’s cool, right?
Mr. Hudson signed to G.O.O.D. Music, had Kanye on “Supernova,” wrote on 808s & Heartbreak, and then appeared on “Forever Young” off the collaborative Watch The Throne with Kanye and Jay Z. The question is though how the hell do these two know each other?
Madge? Yeezus? Surely you jest, but yes this one happened on Madonna’s “Beat Goes On” off Hard Candy. That’s a whole lot of genius on one track, right? Plus Madonna’s on the song too! Just kidding, they’re both really cool.
So Kanye samples Daft Punk on “Stronger,” and then Daft Punk turns around and pours their DNA all over Yeezus (Pause). While we should be used to this friendship, it still feels kind of weird.