Kanye West's debut single "Through the Wire" is a fan favorite. Not only did it launch his career as a solo musician, it also represented a huge turning point in his life. Recorded in a hospital bed with his jaw wired shut following a car crash, "Through the Wire" is built around a sample of Chaka Khan's 1985 single "Through the Fire." In a new interview on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen, Khan said she wasn't 100 percent keen on Kanye's use of the sample.
While she did speak with Ye before sampling "Through the Fire," she said their conversation was "very [different] than the song turned out, obviously." Chaka wasn't a fan of the finished product, even if it is often regarded as a classic by many fans. "He called me when he just got out of the hospital," she added. "He said, 'You were so instrumental in my healing process. I changed the words a little bit to the song but I had to eat through a wire. Jaws wired shut through a straw.' It meant that much to me. It really got my heart, tugged at my string. I was like, yeah, use it."
From there her opinion is made clear. "Then when it came out—[mocks the high-pitched chorus]—I was pissed," she said. "It was a little insulting. Not insulting, I thought it was stupid. If I'd known he was gonna do that, I would have said, 'Hell no.'" She never told West her thoughts on the finished product.
Speaking with Cohen, Khan also discussed her relationship with the late Prince, and the matter of artists covering her songs.