It’s well-known that Kanye West first made his break as a producer, assisting on late ’90s projects by Jermaine Dupri, Harlem World, and Goodie Mob, before working with D-Dot and Roc-A-Fella.
“He was shopping his demo,” recalled Kweli. “…He had different situations he was looking at, but nobody was taking him seriously. He wanted to be on Rawkus, and Rawkus was like, ‘No, we want his beats.'”
Even Roc-A-Fella, which eventually became the home for Kanye’s solo career, wasn’t interested. “Everybody was trying to figure out a way to get Kanye to give up his beats, without wanting to hear [him] rap. Even Roc-A-Fella, at the time.”
“Kanye would rap constantly, and he would test out his raps on anyone on the tour bus. …He still does that to this day; that’s how he makes his albums,” added Kweli.
Watch the interview below: