Yeah, yeah, I was aware of it. But, you know, it was over. I was aware that it was over. It wasn’t anything that anybody from our camp was thinking about. ‘Ye had apologized numerous times and moved on. That was old news.
You might have known that, but I’m pretty sure there were a ton of people out there who thought Kanye was going to bring Taylor up on stage.
Aw man, that would have been cheesy! [Laughs] That would have been really cheesy. And Kanye doesn’t do cheesy, man.
Did you get a chance to hear her perform her new song, “Innocent,” while you were backstage?
You know what? I watched the performance. I saw it. But I don’t know. I don’t know if it was about him. People say it was, but who knows? It was cool. But, you know, I think we had a great performance, too.
“Runaway” seemed to get a lot of love from the crowd. I heard plenty of people bumping the live version the next day, too. When exactly did you and Kanye record that song?
March or April, earlier this year. Whenever I was out in Hawaii… We recorded quite a few songs. He had the record already and was like, ‘Yo, I want you on this record.’ A lot of stuff from him comes from conversation. He’ll talk to you and get a feel for your perspective and your outlook on shit. And later, he’ll be like, ‘Yo, I want you on this. I got a record that that perspective would fit on.’ That’s how he operates.
Did he have his parts already recorded when you heard “Runaway” for the first time?
He had the singing done on the song. I actually wrote my verse for “Runaway” three or four times. Kanye didn’t feel I was douchebag enough for the song on the first couple verses I wrote. [Laughs]
Is that typical for you when you work with somebody?
Never! Never, never, never… There’s no such thing as me rewriting a verse three or four times. Only when you’re with Kanye.
I’ve heard he’s hard on himself when it comes to his music. But he’s a perfectionist like that with someone else’s verses?
Oh, he definitely is. It really sharpens you up to work with anybody else honestly. He is such a perfectionist and he’s very opinionated. You will find yourself explaining yourself, and if you can’t explain the reasoning behind the things you’re saying in a verse or whatever the case may be, it might not fly. He won’t let you get away with it.
That brings me to my next question: You recently announced that you’d signed to his label G.O.O.D. Music. But it sounds like Kanye’s gonna be a tough boss. Why sign with him?