Chaka Khan explains she’s upset with Kanye West for sounding like a “chipmunk” on Through the Wire, but fans are over it

Sampling is one of hip-hop’s many pillars, but don’t assume that Chaka Khan. The legendary singer’s voice was famously sampled on Kanye West’s debut single “Through the Wire,” which featured a distorted version of Khan’s 1984 hit “Through the Fire.” The songwriter recently revealed that she was contacted by the rapper and that she was “pissed about sounding like a chipmunk.”

While promoting her new single “Woman Like Me” during an appearance on Good Day DC, Khan was asked by host Marissa Mitchell about her public dislike for the Grammy-nominated record and if there was ever a conversation between her and the ” Jail ‘ rapper on the production of the single.

Chaka Khan (L) and Kanye West. Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Project Angel Food, Marc Piasecki/GC Images

“I don’t want to hear from Kanye either,” the 69-year-old star said. “No, I haven’t heard from him and I’m not trying to hear from him. He did. He did that with his music. I was upset at sounding like a chipmunk because he didn’t say that when he asked [if] he could use my song, taste my song. He didn’t mention that he would accelerate it to three times its normal speed.”

The “Ain’t Nobody” singer later admitted that if West had told her about his plans, she might not have agreed to his request. Since the incident, the singer added that she now has people who specify exactly how they intend to use their music before agreeing to license their songs.

This isn’t the first time the star has opened up about her disdain for West’s legendary production “Chipmunk Soul” or “Chipmunk Hip Hop,” for which he became famous earlier in his career. Speaking on “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen” in 2019, Khan called the track “stupid” and told the Bravo boss, “Non-offensive, I thought it was silly. If I had known he was going to do that, I would have said, ‘Fuck no.'”

However, critics on social media took a different view, with many encouraging the veteran star to walk away from the affair. “It was a hit, it made money and it was a respectable track,” wrote one Twitter user. “No one thinks you sound like that. Strange thing to get angry about.โ€

“She’s an icon, they have to ask new questions, same thing every time she comes up,” added another person. Chaka Khan explains she’s upset with Kanye West for sounding like a “chipmunk” on Through the Wire, but fans are over it

James Brien

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