In the early part of his career, Kanye was known for his soul samples. On his debut, he sampled a whole range of classic artists including Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, Aretha Franklin, and others. This might give you the impression that Kanye was a crate digger in the vain of someone like Pete Rock. But in reality, there was really just one crate Kanye dug through.
"Kanye wasn’t a big old record collector like that," said Hip Hop. "He didn’t have lots of old records. His girl's father gave him a crate of records that a lot of [samples on the album] came from." At the time Kanye was dating Sumeke Rainey. Sumeke actually voiced the girl on the song "Get Em High" who questions if Kanye knows Kweli. Kanye also makes a reference to Sumeke's father on "Never Let Me Down" rhyming, "Nothing sad as that day my girl's father passed away/So I promised to Mr. Rainey I'm gonna marry your daughter."