Published On: Wed, Sep 15th, 2021

Todd Rundgren SLAMS ‘dilettante’ Kanye West as he recalls chaotic experience working on Donda

Todd Rundgren did not hold back as he recalled working with Kanye West during the creation of the rapper’s 10th studio album Donda, which was released in late August.

Speaking to UCR, the 73-year-old musician labeled West a ‘dilettante’ and said he stepped away from the project in July due to lack of ‘feedback’ from West on his contributions.

Later in the interview, Rundgren claimed that West’s hurried approach to Donda stemmed from fear over his rap rival Drake ‘one-upping him’ with the release of Certified Lover Boy on September 3.

Opening up: Todd Rundgren did not hold back as he recalled working with Kanye West during the creation of the rapper’s 10th studio album Donda, which was released in late August; pictured in 2008

‘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.

‘It’s because Drake was running the whole process,’ said Todd in reference to Drake’s unknowing hold on Kanye and the way their longtime rivalry may have affected the album’s integrity.

He went on to claim that Kanye ‘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.’

Yikes: Speaking to UCR , the 73-year-old musician labeled West a 'dilettante' and said he stepped away from the project in July due to lack of 'feedback' from West on his contributions; West pictured in 2019

Yikes: Speaking to UCR , the 73-year-old musician labeled West a ‘dilettante’ and said he stepped away from the project in July due to lack of ‘feedback’ from West on his contributions; West pictured in 2019

Though he was at first confused by Kanye’s creative approach, Todd told the outlet that he ‘eventually came to the realization that West is a shoe designer. … He’s just a dilettante at this point.’

He continued: ‘Nobody would regularly make records like that unless they had stupid money to throw around. Nobody rents a stadium to make a record in.

‘Nobody flies in the entire world of hip-hop just to croak one syllable, just so you can say that everybody was on it.’

Rundgren would later poke fun at the seemingly endless collaborations on the album by noting that he is ‘one of the few artists not on Kanye’s album.’

Realization: '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,' said Todd; pictured in 2019

Realization: ‘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,’ said Todd; pictured in 2019

Rivalry: Rundgren claimed that West's hurried approach to Donda stemmed from fear over his rap rival Drake (pictured) 'one-upping him' with the release of Certified Lover Boy in September

Rivalry: Rundgren claimed that West's hurried approach to Donda stemmed from fear over his rap rival Drake 'one-upping him' with the release of Certified Lover Boy in September

Rivalry: Rundgren claimed that West’s hurried approach to Donda stemmed from fear over his rap rival Drake (left) ‘one-upping him’ with the release of Certified Lover Boy in September

He currently has ‘three albums worth of Kanye stems on my computer’ because, during the course of production, he ‘kept getting called by Kanye to add vocals onto the record. 

‘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.’

Further elaborating on his year-long Donda involvement, Rundgren told the outlet that he was originally ‘recruited’ by producer 88-Keys, who has worked closely with Kanye for nearly two decades. 

’88-Keys is a big fan of mine and wanted to see us work together,’ Todd continued, admitting that he was willing to help bring Kanye’s vision to life, no matter the genre or subject matter. 

Dilettante: Though he was at first confused by Kanye's creative approach, Todd told the outlet that he 'eventually came to the realization that West is a shoe designer. ... He's just a dilettante at this point'; Kanye pictured during his first Donda listening party in July

Dilettante: Though he was at first confused by Kanye’s creative approach, Todd told the outlet that he ‘eventually came to the realization that West is a shoe designer. … He’s just a dilettante at this point’; Kanye pictured during his first Donda listening party in July

No holding back: 'Nobody would regularly make records like that unless they had stupid money to throw around. Nobody rents a stadium to make a record in,' said Rundgren of West; Kanye pictured during his first Donda listening party in July

No holding back: ‘Nobody would regularly make records like that unless they had stupid money to throw around. Nobody rents a stadium to make a record in,’ said Rundgren of West; Kanye pictured during his first Donda listening party in July 

‘I didn’t mind working on his gospel stuff. If you want to sing about Jesus, go ahead, I don’t care. I’ll help ya do it, you know? If you want to sing about your troubles with your wife, go ahead and do it. I don’t care.’

Even with his easygoing approach, the icon stressed that he is ‘still a producer, and I don’t just want to be like driftwood in the process. If I can contribute something, fine. If I can’t, just let me know. I’m out of here.’

Despite stepping away from the project just a month before its release, the famed multi-instrumentalist admitted that he doesn’t know for sure if any of his contributions were used or ‘buried in the final mixes.’

He stated: ‘There is a possibility that I’m actually in there somewhere. There’s so much junk in that record!’ 

Donda, which is West’s 10th studio album, serves as an homage to his late mother Donda West, who tragically passed away in 2007, and consists of 27 songs. 

Only one: Rundgren would later poke fun at the seemingly endless collaborations on the album by noting that he is 'one of the few artists not on Kanye's album'; Rundgren pictured in 2019

Only one: Rundgren would later poke fun at the seemingly endless collaborations on the album by noting that he is ‘one of the few artists not on Kanye’s album’; Rundgren pictured in 2019

Endless: features the likes of disgraced rocker Marilyn Manson (pictured right), controversial rapper DaBaby (pictured center), and a slew of other Hip Hop industry favorites, including West's longtime friend and collaborator Jay-Z

Endless: features the likes of disgraced rocker Marilyn Manson (pictured right), controversial rapper DaBaby (pictured center), and a slew of other Hip Hop industry favorites, including West’s longtime friend and collaborator Jay-Z

It features the likes of disgraced rocker Marilyn Manson, controversial rapper DaBaby, and a slew of other Hip Hop industry favorites, including West’s longtime friend and collaborator Jay-Z.

West premiered the album and its variants during three over-the-top listening parties, two of which were held in Atlanta, while the final was held in Chicago.

The parties were attended by Kanye’s estranged wife Kim Kardashian, their four children, and Kim’s younger sister Khloe. 

Following its August 29 premiere, Donda became the hitmaker’s tenth No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart.

West is one of only seven musical artists with at least 10 top charting albums in the 65-year history of the Billboard 200 chart.

Homage: Donda, which is West's 10th studio album, serves as an homage to his late mother Donda West, who tragically passed away in 2007, and consists of 27 songs; Kanye and Donda pictured in 2006

Homage: Donda, which is West’s 10th studio album, serves as an homage to his late mother Donda West, who tragically passed away in 2007, and consists of 27 songs; Kanye and Donda pictured in 2006

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