Todd Rundgren Says He’s Not Even Sure If He Appears On Kanye West’s “Donda” Because It’s A Mess
When Chris Brown found out that the track he recorded for Donda was left on the cutting room floor (AKA Kanye West on his phone a bathroom stall at the Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta), he called Kanye “a whole hoe.” And when he found out his track was also missing, Soulja Boy called him “an asshole.” But as eloquent (and accurate) those criticisms are, they pale in comparison to prog-rock icon Todd Rundgren’s detailed and withering account of the utter uselessness and folly of working “with” Kanye. According to Entertainment Weekly, Todd’s not even sure if the track he worked on ended up on the final toilet edit at all, because, from his perspective, there’s “so much junk in that record!” he couldn’t tell!
Todd says he was asked to collaborate on Donda, not by Kanye, but by 88-Keys, a producer on the album who is “a big fan of Rundgren.” And Todd was happy to do so and was open to any ideas Kanye might have. Todd was even willing to help him sing about Jesus! But it never got that far because, according to Todd, Kanye’s more of a “shoe designer” and “dilettante,” than a professional collaborator, giving me the impression that Todd has never actually seen a Yeezy up close. EW reports:
There are a lot of collaborators that made the final cut on Kanye West’s new project Donda, but Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Todd Rundgren, who was invited to work on the album, (probably) isn’t one of them.
“I have three albums worth of Kanye stems on my computer,” Rundgren tells Ultimate Classic Rock. “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.”
The producer of such acts as the New York Dolls and Meat Loaf does tease that he may unknowingly have been of some use to Donda, stating “There is a possibility that I’m actually in there somewhere. There’s so much junk in that record!”
He says he was open to assisting with whatever kind of music West wanted to make: “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.”
Eventually, Rundgren felt too out of the loop on the creative process to continue, saying “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.”
Todd was perplexed by Kanye’s process and said nobody would ever rent out an entire stadium to record an album in “unless they had stupid money to throw around,” which, even after throwing millions of dollars in the toilet on a failed presidential campaign, Kanye apparently still has. You know what Forrest Gump used to say, “stupid money is as stupid money does, now go put on that gimp suit I bought you, Jenny!” Todd added:
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.”
Wrong, Todd. Onebody does. Todd says he got the impression things were being rushed and the quality suffered. And the reason they were being rushed, is the one and only Wheelchair Jimmy. Run, Kanye, run!
“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.”
“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.”
Todd said Drake. Ate. His. Lunch. Le gasp! Good thing Kanye probably still has no idea who Todd Rundgren is, and so may never learn the true identity of his assassin.