Over the past year, Chicago, Illinois rapper Kanye West has compared himself to the likes of Steve Jobs and Walt Disney, and according to producer No I.D., Kanye compared himself to music icons like Michael Jackson and Jermaine Dupri very early on in his career.
While appearing on the Juan Epstein podcast this week, No I.D. recalled attending a meeting with Kanye about a possible record deal and says the rapper began to “act crazy.” He says ‘Ye declared himself “the next Michael Jackson” and stated that he was “better than Jermaine Dupri.”
“I know his potential, but I’m still looking at what’s going on,” No I.D. said while speaking on Kanye’s early years. “I’m not thinking about [if] he has the personality and ability to change what’s going on. I’m looking at what he’s wearing, how he acts, how he talks. And I’m like ‘I don’t know that nobody will accept what you’re doing’…We’re taking some record deal meetings and he goes in there and acts crazy. That was the first time I seen him act crazy…He does some crazy stuff. Like ‘I’m the next Michael Jackson. I’m better than Jermaine Dupri’…So, I’m like ‘I’m not gonna manage you. I’m not gonna manage you, I’m gonna help you. I can’t.”
The Windy City beatsmith later credited Kanye for helping him make the transition from underground producer to a musician well-known in the mainstream.
“I definitely noticed it, but it was a lot of conscious effort that went into deciding not to be an underground guy,” he said. “And to be honest I’d give a lot of credit to Kanye and me watching. Some of the tools I helped give him and then take to the mainstream and keep it pure, it kind of motivated me to even go in other directions. Just try and take what I do to a bigger place, but still keep it in the pocket like I do. It goes in a cycle. We help each other.”
“The 808 records came out of doing The Blueprint 3 records,” No I.D. said, according to XXLMag.com. “Like a matter of fact, when we did ‘Heartless,’ he just stopped and said, ‘No.’ I was like, ‘No what?’ He was like, ‘No way! This is my record!’ I was like, ‘Come on man. Can we just finish the guy’s album man?’ He was like, ‘Nope. I’m doing an album.’”