Kanye West’s Donda features a touching spoken word appearance from Larry Hoover Jr. on “Jesus Lord,” and in a new interview he’s spoken about how ‘Ye got him involved.
Speaking with Drea O, the son of Gangster Disciples co-founder Larry Hoover opened up about the experience, which he said was facilitated through a mutual friend. His appearance on the album sees him thanking Kanye for “taking the fight for my father to the Oval Office,” and his contribution made its debut at the second listening event for Donda.
“How that actually came about is… I have a friend of mine who is a close friend of Kanye’s,” he explained, specifying that rapper GLC is their mutual friend. “GLC came to speak with Kanye, and Kanye is from the city and Kanye also believes my father could make a change in the city. He started making efforts towards helping my father out. I went to see him when he was doing this show, and he called me like, ‘Why don’t you put something on the album?’”
Sometime during the recording process for Donda, the topic of Hoover Jr. showing up on the album was brought up again by GLC. “I was in Atlanta to go to the show … I had to go to the lab and get my thoughts together,” he continued. “I definitely had to pen it, but I put something together… I wrote it and sent it to him, and I didn’t know if it was going to be used or not. It was also a weird situation, because Mike Dean, who recorded it, was also the one who recorded my father when he was on the Geto Boys 20 something years ago.”
When he went to one of the listening parties for Donda, he was shocked to see that his contribution actually made the record. “I still didn’t know if it was on the album, cause the album hadn’t been released it was a listening party and he was trying to decide what to use,” he said. “It was an exciting situation. Plus a nervous situation, I don’t like hearing myself or watching myself. But it was a good thing, and to hear the people felt what I was saying… It made my father seem like a human being, they only knew him as Larry Hoover, leader of the Gangster Disciples.”
Earlier this month, J. Prince advocated for the clemency of Larry Hoover, who is currently serving six life sentences for a 1973 murder along with charges of exortion, conspiracy, and money laundering. He indicated that he was working with both Kanye and his current rival Drake to help free Hoover. "“Good plans in the making to free our brother Larry Hoover with the support of @champagnepapi and @kanyewest #TheArtandScienceOfRespect," he wrote.
Watch the full interview with Larry Hoover Jr. above.