Published Jun 27, 2019Kanye West's hallmark "chipmunk soul" production is the foundation of "Through the Wire," with a pitch-shifted sample of Chaka Khan's "Through the Fire" soundtracking his tale of a 2002 near-fatal car crash that left him with his jaw wired shut. While the track remains a listener favourite in West's catalogue, Khan isn't singing the same tune.
In a recent appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, Khan recalled meeting West in the wake of his accident.
"He called me when he just got out the hospital. He said, 'You were so instrumental in my healing process," Khan said. "I changed the words a little bit to the song but I had to eat through a wire... It really got my heart, tugged at my strings."
Khan then cleared the sample of her 1984 song for West to use, but told Cohen the conversations went "very differently than the song turned out, obviously."
Khan then explained how she wasn't a fan of West's decision to pitch-shift her song (and voice) to new heights.
"I was pissed," she said. "It was a little insulting. Not insulting, I thought it was stupid. If I'd known he was gonna do that, I would have said, 'hell no.'"
When asked if she had ever aired her grievances with West, Khan said, "What can I say? The best way to tell him is silence. Give him crickets."
"Through the Wire" appeared on West's 2004 debut album The College Dropout, which also featured heavily pitch-shifted samples of songs by Marvin Gaye and Luther Vandross.