After listening to Watch the Throne in Paris with JAY-Z and Kanye West, The-Dream left the studio early, believing he had completed his work on a record. He wanted to get a jump start on Jay's next solo album, Magna Carta Holy Grail.
Little did he know what would happen next.
During his recent appearance on RevoltTV’s Drink Champs podcast, the prolific singer-songwriter and producer shared the entire backstory behind his Auto-Tuned participation on “No Church in the Wild” and explained why it was the most productive six minutes of his entire recording career.
“Long story short,” The-Dream told co-hosts N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN, “I went in and they was working on ‘No Church in the Wild.’ Kanye was like, ‘Yo! I need you to put something on this record!’ I went into the next room, bap, bap, bap, didn’t think nothing of it. Then me, Jay, and Leonardo DiCaprio, at the time, went to grab something to eat.
“I never heard about the record again. I get a phone call months later. Chaka [Pilgrim]’s [the president of Roc Nation] on the phone like, ‘Yeah, so, you on Watch the Throne.’ I was like, ‘No, you talking about Jay’s shit. I’m not on Watch the Throne.’ She’s like, ‘I just did a listening in New York, you’re on fucking Watch the Throne. Jay just recited your whole verse on "No Church in the Wild."”
Since The-Dream wasn’t immediately credited for his participation on the record, fans assumed the Auto-Tuned vocals were that of either Kanye, Jay, or Frank Ocean. Despite the confusion, however, the fact remains that The-Dream put in his six minutes and ended up scoring a GRAMMY award.
“That was the best session I walked into,” The-Dream said.
While his expediency is impressive, this story is actually a testament to perseverance. The-Dream didn’t just stumble into the session his first week making music. This GRAMMY was the byproduct of years in music, building relationships, and building a name for himself. Those six minutes were predicated on thousands of hours of hard work, and likely plenty of moments where Dream wanted to throw in the towel. He didn’t, of course, and he’s got the hardware to show for it.
Let this be a lesson to young artists: the work pays off, every day you’re that much closer to everything finally falling into place.