A Timeline: Ryan Leslie Recounts Making Of Kanye West’s ‘Christian Dior Denim Flow’
How Kanye West’s “Christian Dior Denim Flow” Got From The Studio To Your Inbox
RYAN LESLIE: Kanye and I, we’ve crossed paths many times. Some DJ had actually put his verse from a Slum Village record on the “Diamond Girl” record, which helped it to sort of have a little bit of life. He kind of looked the other way, didn’t say, “Yo take my verse off of there.” He used Cassie in the “Stronger” video… We were in the studio together doing a couple of potential Cassie records, so we crossed paths a couple of times and we never actually worked together. So I saw what Ye was doing with the Good Friday stuff and I hit Don C [on email] and said: Look, I love what y’all are doing and I love what it stands for, which is a direct line of communication to the audience. Straight from the studio to the audience. I love that; I wanna be involved.
SEPT. 25, 2010: It was my birthday. Don C was like, “Ye is in the studio. Come by tonight or tomorrow.” I said, “You know what, I’ma just come by tonight.” I came in the studio that night. It was myself, Swizz, Ye and I guess he was working on the Lloyd Banks record and by the time we finished… ‘Cause I have another record on Banks’ album called “So Forgetful,” which I produced and I’m featured on. So once I got there, I just really liked that whole idea of the collaborative aspect of it. So I’m in the studio, Swizz came by, I played him a couple joints. I played Kanye a couple beats ’cause he’s working on an album with Jay. So [we’re] just sharing music as peers and colleagues and fellow musicians.
So we ended up that night doing the Banks record. It was initially a different hook. And then Swizz came in and Ye was like, “Yo, man I really think we could take the energy of this record up.” Swizz was like, “Yo I got this idea.” He jumped in the studio and I layered some vocals on it. That was the Banks record Saturday night. I said, “Yo I’ma be back. Are you in here tomorrow?”