It’s crazy to think that it’s been ten years since Kanye West released Late Registration, his second in a string of classic albums. But believe it or not, Sunday, August 30 — the same day he’s receiving the Video Vanguard Award at the VMAs — marks a decade since his sophomore opus dropped.
Even though the album — with hits like “Diamonds from Sierra Leone,” “Heard Em Say,” “Gold Digger” and more — has been widely celebrated over the years, there are still some things we’re discovering about it.
Like, for instance, the process of writing “Gold Digger.”
“Everybody’s like, ’Oh, your flow is crazy,’” he says in a previously unreleased clip from an August 2005 interview with MTV News about the Jamie Foxx-assisted hit. “I wrote ’Gold Digger’ before I wrote ’[New] Workout Plan,’ and before I wrote ’Spaceships,’ before I wrote ’Last Call.’”
Yup, that’s right: Yeezy wrote his second album smash before he wrote some of his debut album favorites.
“I wrote the first verse of ’Gold Digger’ right after my accident [in 2002], and I just put it on that beat.”
But that’s not the only gem from the interview. ’Ye also talks about what it was like to get a feature from Nas, which he did on “We Major,” during a time that Nasty and Kanye’s label head, Jay Z, were still knee deep in their beef.
“’We Major’ is like Jay’s favorite song on the album,” Kanye told Sway Calloway with a smile. “When something is so good, you can’t deny it…When you hear the horns on ’We Major,’ and you hear the chorus come in, and Nas — in original form Nas, Nas like that — that can sometimes warm somebody’s heart. Even Jay standing up in this position. Good music can break through anything and maybe start to break down a wall between two of the greatest MCs we have.”
In fact, he ended up being right.
Hov and Esco squashed their beef a few months later, when Jay brought Nas out at Power 105.1’s I Declare War concert in New York in October. Kanye even joined them onstage.
And the rest…well, you know the rest.