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(Credit: Mitchell Weinstock)

Music

Todd Rundgren voices frustrations about working on Kanye West’s ‘Donda’

@TomTaylorFO

Legendary musician and producer Todd Rundgren has spoken about his frustrating time with Kanye West on his recent controversial album Donda. It would seem that Kanye’s chaotic approach to the highly collaborative record bore a few issues for Rundgren. 

He told Ultimate Classic Rock: “I’m one of the few artists not on Kanye’s album. I have three albums worth of Kanye stems on my computer. Because I kept getting called by Kanye to add vocals onto the record.”

Adding: “When it got into the homestretch in July, I just said, ‘That’s enough for me. I have no idea whether any of this is being used.’ You don’t get much feedback from him regarding what it is.”

Fellow producer 88-Keys had enlisted the help of Rundgren, but he quickly became disillusioned with what he had signed on to assist. I’m still a producer, and I don’t just want to be like driftwood in the process,” he said.

Adding: “If I can contribute something, fine. If I can’t, just let me know. I’m out of here […] There is a possibility that I’m actually in there somewhere. There’s so much junk in that record!”

Thereafter, however, it would appear that shackles were truly off and he began to let his opinions on the rapper flow, dubbing him a “shoe designer” and later adding: “He’s just a dilettante at this point. Nobody would regularly make records like that unless they had stupid money to throw around.”

He then concluded that it was all owing to a hip hop rivalry that this manic process of desperate one-upmanship occurred. “My involvement went on for a year, and in the end, I realized why they hurriedly wrapped the whole thing up and put out what is obviously really raw, unprocessed stuff,” he said.

Concluding: “It’s because Drake was running the whole process. He was too afraid that Drake would one-up him, so he hurried up and released the album the weekend before Drake could get his out. And in the end, Drake ate his lunch anyway.”

Rundgren has also revealed that he will not be present for his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this October, as he will be playing a concert for fans instead. “I have offered to do something live for them from my venue,” he said. “I will stop my show and acknowledge the award and mostly acknowledge my fans, because it’s for them.”

Rundgren later added: “They’re the ones who wanted it. And now they’ve got it. So it’s a celebration for them, not so much for me. I’ve been totally willing to do that. But for me to do something extraordinary for the Hall of Fame would just be hypocritical. You know, I’m too much on the record about my feelings.”