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Music

Jack White's regret about Kanye West

@josephtaysom

Throughout Jack White’s career, he has prided himself on mastering the art of collaboration, yet, there’s one name that’s constantly evaded him: Kanye West.

While the former White Stripes leader’s career has been primarily entrenched within the blues, he’s never been frightened to step outside of his comfort zone and work with artists from other walks of life. Since his former group called it a day, White has been hellbent on spreading his wings, and Ye is somebody he almost managed to tick off his bucket list.

As long as White feels a connection with a fellow musician and respects their craft, he’s more than willing to step into the studio to see if they can create magic. On paper, a collaboration between West and White might not work, but they’ve both got a history of making unlikely partnerships succeed.

The guitarist produced ‘Don’t Hurt Yourself’ by Beyonce, which appeared on her now-iconic album Lemonade, and sampled ‘When The Levee Breaks’ by Led Zeppelin. Additionally, White famously teamed up with Alicia Keys in 2008 for the James Bond theme ‘Another Way To Die’. Meanwhile, Kanye West has experimented with alternative artists and built up a formidable alliance with Bon Iver.

The worlds of White and West almost collided in 2013 when Ye was working on Yeezus, and he reached out to White about appearing on the record. However, after he signalled to the rapper that he’d be game to work together, the rocker never heard back.

The album Jack White called “one of the most unique records in music history”

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In an interview with Rolling Stone in 2014, White admitted this incident disappointed him because he was desperate to make it happen. He also disclosed that his view on hip-hop had changed significantly over the years, and in his youth, he thought it lacked musicianship.  

In the same interview, White also talked about being blown away by Ye’s extravagant showmanship in Nashville the previous year. “That might have been the greatest show I’ve seen in my life,” he commented. “It was more punk, more in-your-face than anything I’ve seen”.

He added: “The ego is just so massive that there’s no doubt in my mind you’re getting 100 per cent honesty from him. How many artists can you say that about?”.

White demonstrated his hip-hop instincts further in 2018 on his album when he appeared on Apple Music to discuss his album Boarding House Reach and said: “I really wanted to find musicians who played with hip-hop artists onstage – who backed up Kendrick or Jay-Z or Kanye or something. I thought that was a special musician that can [take] what’s on a hip-hop track, where it’s a sample or a drum machine, but replicate it live with real drums and real bass.”

While West is currently as unpredictable as he’s ever been, both professionally and personally, a collaboration between these two figures would still be intriguing, even if it failed to deceive — which, in truth, is the most probable outcome.

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