Last month we learned that Rick Rubin had been annotating songs on Genius. Rather than just simply explaining lyrics, Rubin was explaining the process behind some of the songs he worked on as well as simply sharing his opinion on various artists. But Rick Rubin isn’t the only artist to start annotating songs on the site. Recently A-Trak annotated a couple of Kanye West’s songs.
A-Trak’s annotation explains the process behind some of the songs he worked on including Kanye’s “Stronger,” “Robo Cop,” and “Gold Digger,” as well other songs by Cam’ron, Juicy J, and more. A-Trak revealed how he wound up being Kanye’s tour DJ in 2004 as well as the fact that he introduced Kanye to Daft Punk.
I gave him that sample. I’m the culprit. And I didn’t want him to sample it, that’s what’s funny. It sort of happened because Swizz Beats sampled “Technologic” for that Busta Rhymes record, “Touch It.” We were on tour in Europe in 2006, spending a lot of hours on the bus listening to the radio. Kanye heard “Touch It” and thought that beat was cool. I said, “He just swooped up Daft Punk.” And Ye said, “Who?” I just couldn’t believe that Kanye had never heard Daft Punk.
On “Gold Digger”:
We got back together to play the Sasquatch Festival, and were catching up in the trailer. He said, “Let me play you something. I put my vocals on all these songs.” For “Gold Digger,” he had this rough version, but it felt too pop to him. He wanted to give it some hip-hop cred. I had an idea for a scratch, for the part where he raps “Get down girl, go ‘head, get down.” I knew which sample to use. He said, “I think it could be cool. We’re going to LA this week to finish things up.” But he was over budget, Def Jam wouldn’t pay for any more flights for that album.
Next thing you know, it’s show time at Sasquatch. At the last minute, he gave me the track for “Gold Digger,” because he wanted to perform it. I ended up live-auditioning. I pulled up the sample for “get down” and I scratched during the choruses, and as soon as we got off stage he was like “Alright, you’re coming to LA, we gotta record this. I’ll pay for the flights, I don’t care.” I went to L.A. and recorded the scratches, and the rest is history.
Read all of A-Trak’s annotations here.