Jermaine Dupri, recent inductee to the Songwriters Hall of Fame, is a veteran hitmaker. With an infallible legacy and ear for talent, Dupri is always primed to give us perspective on our favorite artists. Namely, Dupri recently recalled the way Kanye West wormed his way onto the "Reception" remix of “Let’s Get Married” by being his typical Kanye self.
“This remix is interesting because of Kanye's attitude that people know now,” Dupri told James Dinh for iHeartRadio. “This was before y'all knew Kanye. I gave Kanye the opportunity to do this remix. He and I were having a conversation about who was gonna rap on the songs. I'm sure he already knew he was gonna rap on the song but I wasn't thinking about putting him as a rapper on the song. I was trying to think of somebody that was gonna take a name.
"I think I left the studio and he stayed until he was gonna finish the beat. I came back and he had a verse on the song. I was, like, 'Who was that rapping?' He's, like, ‘That's me.' I was, like, 'Alright.' It wasn't wack, so I just let it. I could have been, like, 'Naw I want such and such.' But I felt his energy and I say all that just to say Kanye's been the same person since day one. He got these antics, but his passion's always been the same."
As early as 2000, West’s passion and antics bore no separation. For someone as charged with creativity as Kanye, “antics” seem to be the only satisfying outlet, something that’s haunted and inspired his career for decades.
Also worth noting is Dupri’s attitude about the verse, letting it slide solely because it was listenable. Of course, he was taken by a young Kanye West’s determination, but his resignation to the verse might also have come from the myriad “Let’s Get Married” remixes. Regardless of intention, though, one thing remains clear: it’s impossible to miss the old Kanye, as there’s only ever been one Kanye.