Mike Dean Talks About Kanye West Discarding Entire 'Ye' Album to Restart Project Weeks Before Release

The producer/instrumentalist recalled the moment during a conversation with Nile Rodgers, saying he "came in one day and [Kanye had] erased the whole board."

Mike Dean knows adaptability is key when working with major talent.

The Grammy-winning producer addressed the topic during an appearance on Nile RodgersDeep Hidden Meaning Radio. Dean explained how he’s learned not to be overly passionate about his contributions to a record, as some artists have a tendency to change their minds last minute. Case in point: the recording sessions for Kanye West’s 2018 project Ye.

Mike said his many-time collaborator Kanye and the rest of the team had completed an album’s worth of material in Wyoming when, just weeks before the release date, a dissatisfied Yeezy decided to throw all the records out and start from scratch.

“Till it’s over, anything can happen, especially Kanye,” the 57-year-old multi-instrumentalist explained midway through the clip above. “In Wyoming, for the Ye album, we had 10 songs, I guess. And we were trying to do a seven-song album. I came in one day and he’d erased the whole board and said, ‘We’re starting over.’ That’s what happened. And we did it in like two weeks. We made seven songs and it came out pretty good.”

You can see Dean’s full interview with Rodgers via Apple Music.

Ye is known for working on projects until the 11th hour, often missing self-imposed deadlines. During a 2018 interview on BigBoyTV, the multi-hyphenate revealed he had scrapped the original version of Ye after his infamous appearance on TMZ.

“I just completely did a completely new album,” West admitted. “With what the universe was giving me, I wanted something that matched that energy. I completely redid the album after TMZ. We just sat there and really honed in on the words.”

Kanye explained the original version was too political, and even addressed his controversial comments about slavery being “a choice.”

“We know now it’s all headlines and every bar can be used,” he said, before referencing the slavery remarks. “There were even bars that we had about that. I took them off the album. It was just too sensitive. It was about that topic. I was like, ‘Yo, I’m going to just chill right now.”

View this video on YouTube


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