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In 2003, Kanye West released one of his biggest singles to date, “Through The Wire.” While the song, which served as the lead to his debut album, The College Dropout, proved to be a breakthrough for Ye, it’s safe to say not everyone is a fan of the song.
“Through The Wire” prominently samples a song called “Through The Fire” by Chaka Khan, using a sped-up version of Khan’s vocals on the song’s chorus. In an interview with Good Day DC, she said “I was upset about sounding like a chipmunk,” and revealed she wasn’t aware how much Ye was going to speed up the vocals.
“[West] didn’t mention that he was gonna speed it up, you know, three times its normal speed,” Khan said. “Had he, I would’ve had something to say. But since I didn’t think of that, believe me, I think of it now. I ask, ‘How are we gonna do this?’”
This isn’t Khan’s first time vocalizing her disdain for the song. In 2020, she told Vlad TV that she was displeased by the final result of “Through The Wire,” as she imagined something different when he first reached out for permission to use the sample.
“I said, ‘Well, are you a singer?’ He said, ‘No, no. I just wanted to use your chorus,” she recalled. “I thought about it and said, ‘Well, he can’t mess it up because I will be singing it after all. It’s my voice.’ But he found a way. By golly, he found a way to frick that up. I was through.”