Chaka Khan is still mad with Kanye West after he sampled her 1985 hit song “Through the Fire” for his break-out hit “Through the Wire”.
The “I’m Every Woman” singer granted the rapper permission to use the sample for his “Through the Wire” track, but she was very unhappy with what he did, speeding up her vocals so it sounded like a little girl on helium gas. She hasn’t spoken to him since.
“He called me when he had just got out of the hospital,” the diva raged on Watch What Happens Live! “He said, ‘You were so instrumental in my healing process, I changed the words a little bit to the song, but I had to eat through a wire.'” She added: “It really got my heart. I was like, ‘Yeah, use it’.”
“Then, when it came out – I was p**sed. It was really insulting. Not insulting, I thought it was stupid. If I’d known he was going to do that, I’d have said, ‘Hell, no!'”
Chaka decided the best way to respond to Kanye was to ignore him, adding, “I gave him crickets (silence).”
Kanye’s debut single was written and recorded while the rapper’s jaw was wired shut after he was involved in a single car accident in 2002.
The track was the lead single off Kanye’s critically acclaimed album The College Dropout (2004).
“Through the Wire” peaked at number 15 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song was nominated for a 2005 Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance, but lost to Jay-Z’s “99 Problems”.