Chaka Khan Reflects on Kanye’s “Through the Wire” Sample and Being ‘Upset About Sounding Like a Chipmunk’

Chaka Khan discussed her new single "Woman Like Me" and got into why she's still annoyed about her voice being sped up on Kanye's "Through the Wire."

View this video on YouTube

They say time heals all wounds, but it looks like Chaka Khan may never be at peace with how Kanye West sampled her voice on “Through the Fire” for his 2003 debut single “Through the Wire.” 

Khan was on Good Day DC on Monday to promote her new single “Woman Like Me” when Marissa Mitchell brought up her much-publicized distaste for the sample, which she told the anchor made her “upset about sounding like a chipmunk.”

When asked if West ever reached out to her to discuss the matter, Chaka said they haven’t spoken and she doesn’t appear to be open to the possibility.

“[Kanye] didn’t mention that he was gonna speed it up, you know, three times its normal speed,” Khan, 69, said. “Had he, I would’ve had something to say. But since I didn’t think of that, believe me, I think of it now. I ask, ‘How are we gonna do this?’” 

Chaka shared on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen in 2019 that Ye asked her about sampling “Through the Fire” shortly after being released from the hospital following his near-death car accident. She remembered West telling her the song was “so instrumental in my healing process,” adding how he intended on switching up the words to the hook to reflect his struggle with eating after his mouth was wired shut. 

Khan said she allowed him to sample the song because his reasoning tugged at her heartstrings. However, she was “pissed” after hearing the finished product. “It was a little insulting,” she said. “Not insulting—I thought it was stupid. If I’d known he was gonna do that, I would have said, ‘Hell no.’” 

When Mitchell brought up the sample, she referenced a VladTV interview where Chaka accused West of messing up her song, to put it lightly. 

View this video on YouTube

Check out her response in the video up top, starting at the 2:40 mark. 

Latest in Music