Benny Blanco has plenty of accolades under his belt. The songwriter/producer has worked with megastars like Justin Bieber, Rihanna, and Ariana Grande, and has also received a number of prestigious honors, including Grammys and the Hal David Starlight Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Though all of this is incredibly impressive—especially when you consider Blanco is only 30 years old—it seems one of his biggest career milestones was reached Thursday night, when Kanye West dropped his highly anticipated eighth studio album Ye.
Blanco received writing and producer credits on not one, but two cuts from the project: the opener, “I Thought About Killing You” and “Ghost Town,” featuring John Legend, 070 Shake, and Kid Cudi.
Hours after the album’s debut, Blanco shared a heartfelt letter addressed to Kanye. He thanked the rapper not only for allowing him to contribute to Ye, but for also inspiring his music career.
“Dear Kanye West, thank u for making my childhood dreams come true. the 14 year old in me is crying tears of joy right now,” Blanco wrote on Instagram. “I remember leaving my grandmothers house in east orange new jersey back home to virginia and seeing a man on the side of the road selling bootleg copies of the college dropout... i went home and listened to it so much that it became so scratched i couldn’t even play it.”
Blanco went on to describe how he studied and dissected Kanye's debut album, which ultimately shaped his approach to music-making.
“I looked up every single sample on the album and spent months trying to recreate the beats,” he wrote. “[…] ‘Last Call’ gave every young kid not doing shit the hope to keep going... i used to blast ‘Spaceship’ lines doing 5 beats a day for 3 summers... as my mantra.”
He continued: “Kanye not only did u shape me but u shaped every contemporary producer out now whether they like to believe it or not. u r the definition of a legend. thank you. also thank u to Francis (and the Lights) for believing in me enough to bring me on this wave.”
You can read the full letter below.
Kanye premiered Ye during an exclusive listening session Thursday night in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The album marks the second G.O.O.D. Music drop of the season, following Pusha-T's DAYTONA. Next week, Kanye is expected to drop Kids See Ghost, his collaborative project with Cudi.