Legendary rocker/producer Todd Rundgren is known for such hits as “Hello It’s Me” as well as producing albums for the likes of Cheap Trick, XTC, Patti Smith and Meatloaf’s classic Bat Out of Hell.
Rundgren is now speaking out about his association with Kanye West’s latest release, Donda, which he characterized as an overwhelmingly negative experience.
“I’m one of the few artists not on Kanye‘s album. I have three albums worth of Kanye stems on my computer. Because I kept getting called by Kanye to add vocals onto the record. When it got into the homestretch in July, I just said, ‘That’s enough for me. I have no idea whether any of this is being used.’ You don’t get much feedback from him regarding what it is,” he said in an interview with Ultimate Classic Rock.
“I didn’t mind working on his gospel stuff. If you want to sing about Jesus, go ahead, I don’t care. I’ll help ya do it, you know? If you want to sing about your troubles with your wife, go ahead and do it. I don’t care,” Rundgren continued.
“I’m still a producer, and I don’t just want to be like driftwood in the process. If I can contribute something, fine. If I can’t, just let me know. I’m out of here… there is a possibility that I’m actually in there somewhere. There’s so much junk in that record!” he complained.
During the process, Rundgren said came to realize that West is “a shoe designer… he’s just a dilettante at this point.”
Pointing to West’s extravagant recording style, Rundgren added, “Nobody would regularly make records like that unless they had stupid money to throw around. Nobody rents a stadium to make a record in. Nobody flies in the entire world of hip-hop just to croak one syllable, just so you can say that everybody was on it.”
According to Rundgren, Donda was ultimately rush-released, and he offered his theory as to why.
“My involvement went on for a year, and in the end I realized why they hurriedly wrapped the whole thing up and put out what is obviously really raw, unprocessed stuff,” Rundgren explained. “It’s because Drake was running the whole process. He was too afraid that Drake would one-up him, so he hurried up and released the album the weekend before Drake could get his out. And in the end, Drake ate his lunch anyway.”