Kanye West is an all-around artist and is the jack of all trades. His 2004 debut album, College Dropout, was written and produced by him, almost in its entirety, and he has made it clear he is competent. However, every now and then, he brings in a bit of help to achieve perfection.
In 2007, a cameraman caught footage of Kanye in the studio with producer Timbaland, who helped him on his track ‘Stronger’. West later unveiled on the Lex Fridman podcast that he couldn’t achieve the strong kick of ‘Sexy Back’ in his song.
In fact, Kanye unveiled that he initially took the track to Pharrell Williams and Swizz Beatz. Still, he ultimately realised he needed Timbo, who added punch and clarity to the kick in five minutes.
Although the Chicago native is considered a genius and is able to do a lot by himself, he often calls upon people to help him here and there. The same can be said for Dr Dre. The former NWA producer, akin to Knaye, shifted culture and is considered a legend. However, for his comeback album 2001, he called upon Jay-Z to write ‘Still Dre’ and Eminem to pen ‘The Watcher’.
For many years, the term “Ghostwriting” has been flung around as an insult and used to insult rappers who supposedly don’t write their own lyrics. However, some MCs are open to penning songs with other lyricists. Whether it’s to bounce ideas off of them or get over a creative block, it does happen, and in 2016, Kanye asked one icon to help him write a song.
West usually releases an album annually, and 2016 saw him release The Life Of Pablo to great critical acclaim. However, one song on there was not written by him. ’30 Hours’, which is a 5-minute track, was penned solely by Drake.
During Kanye’s 2022 meltdown, he went on an anti-semitic, maniacal press tour, which saw him make an appearance on Drink Champs. During his interview with Noreaga and DJ EFN, West spoke about his various collaborations and, while speaking about the track ’30 Hours’ unveiled, “I gave him a line and he wrote the whole rap. I wish he wrote all my raps.”
The interview was swiftly deleted for its several controversial segments. However, it did give a great insight into some of West’s writing practices. Drake is also credited as a songwriter for ‘Facts’ and ‘Father Stretch My Hands’ on the 2016 project. You can listen to ’30 Hours’ in the video below.