After making his name as a producer for Jay-Z and other hip-hop heavyweights, Kanye West’s first hit as a recording artist was 2003’s “Through The Wire,” a song he famously rapped with his jaw wired shut following a nasty car accident. The song, which helped Kanye’s debut album The College Dropout become a game-changing blockbuster the following year, was built around a sample of Chaka Khan’s 1985 hit “Through The Fire” that manipulated Khan’s vocals in the chipmunk-soul style that was Kanye’s signature at the time. And it turns out Khan is not a fan of it at all.
As The Fader points out, Khan was a guest on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen this week alongside Adam Lambert. Cohen asked her about “Through The Wire,” and Khan did not withhold her displeasure. As she tells it, Kanye called her up after he got out of the hospital to express how much her music had helped him heal. She was moved and agreed to approve the sample. When she heard her voice pitch-shifted on the song, her feelings changed immediately. “I was pissed,” she tells Cohen. “It was a little insulting. Not insulting, I thought it was stupid. If I had known he was going to do that I’d have said, ‘Hell no.'”
Khan said she’s never told Kanye how much she disliked “Through The Wire” before, and she conceded that she did at least make some money off it. Check out the interview segment as well as both songs below.