Todd Rundgren calls Kanye West just a 'shoe designer' and a 'dilettante' after working on Donda
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 famed musician began helping out with Donda after producer 88-Keys, a big fan of Rundgren, asked him to collaborate. 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."
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!"
After referring to West as a "shoe designer" and "dilettante," Rundgren posits that "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."
Elaborating on the whole experience, Rundgren says, "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."
His theory why this happened? "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."