The Kanye West classic that took “5,000 hours” to make
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The Kanye West classic that took "5,000 hours" to make

College Dropout creator Kanye West is widely considered a genius by the hip-hop fraternity and over the course of his career, has produced outstanding bodies of work. From 808s & Heartbreak to Yeezus, the Chicago beatmaker has released an unfathomable amount of self-produced material. However, before he releases his projects, the billionaire entrepreneur pedantically perfects each track until he is happy.

Many producers and pioneers are perfectionists and it’s not a wholly unique attribute to West. From Dr Dre to Pharrell Williams, these masterminds are not afraid to dictate to their collaborators and command them in order to bring their creative visions to life. Kanye is no different and is known for his controlling style of recording.

Kanye is quite the recluse when making music, hence why he chooses locations such as Hawaii and Wyoming to record his masterpieces. The Graduation musician is known for elusively and erratically emerging from his Wyoming studio with new projects and creative visions. So, whether it’s to do with fashion, music, or something else, people always turn their heads and invest in what Kanye West produces and sells.

Many MCs today get beat packs from well-known producers, pick out the basic instrumentals they like and simply record their lyrics. On the other hand, Kanye disappears to an unknown location, crafts his own beats, calls in live instrumentalists, creates progressive structures, records euphoric bridges and comes out on the other side with unparalleled music that no other artist or producer can match.

That said, while he is underground, he turns into a perfectionist of epic proportions. While creating his epic single ‘Stronger’ from his 2007 album Graduation, a documentary revealed West had extreme difficulties getting the finalised version of the song sounding up to scratch. After working with 19 different audio engineers in the best studios around the world, the track had to be mixed over 75 times before West eventually took it to Timbaland, with whom he reprogrammed the drums.

The Yeezy designer was just as meticulous when it came to the recording of his 2010 album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. The project was produced and recorded solely in Hawaii on the island of Oahu. The Chicago legend flew all kinds of MCs to the island, including Nicki Minaj.

In an interview with Genius, Minaj revealed that she wasn’t allowed to control the mix of her vocals on ‘Monster,’ which included several theatric accents from her. Unveiling how pedantic West was in creating ‘Monster’, she told Rob Markman, “I did not even approve the mix on my vocal. He took other takes and put them together in one take because I didn’t want all those grunting sounds in one verse. I was like, ‘Please, no!’ I fought him, but he was like, ‘Nah, I like that it’s dope’. I remember being so mad at him, but I couldn’t say anything.” However, it turned out to be one of Minaj’s most legendary verses of all time.   

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is one of Kanye West’s most revered albums. In an interview with The Breakfast Club in 2013, Kanye West revealed that the MBDTF single ‘All of The Lights’ took two years to make. Speaking about ‘Power’, he told the hosts,  “A song like ‘Power’ took 5,000 hours, like literally 5,000 man-hours to do this one record. That’s the amount of time I was putting into every song on the album”.

Kanye is known for being a perfectionist. However, it has only helped his music as he continues to grow.