LOS ANGELES — Kanye West may not have shown up to the Grammys, but he still very much was a part of the honors. He and Jay-Z’s project Watch the Throne took home awards for “N*ggas in Paris” (Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song) and “No Church In the Wild” (Best Rap/Sung Collaboration).
The-Dream and Frank Ocean comprised the “sung” part of the latter, and both stood alongside Jay-Z to collect the award during the telecast ceremony. The-Dream also headed backstage, to say a few words about his new album “Fourplay” due May 7, but also to confirm he’d be working on West’s next record. He said he’s flying to Paris to record with West “in a couple of weeks.”
“Hopefully we can get another Grammy together,” he said. (He was also shy on details on another big project: writing songs for Beyonce. The-Dream said he’s working with Queen B, but has otherwise been told to “zip it” in talking about it.)
He’s not the only act to firm up recording plans with West to reporters at the Awards. Longtime collaborator Malik Yusef was also on hand, and he ended up describing his efforts with West akin to “work camps,” saying recording can be “tortuous.”
“He is a perfectionist, obviously. It’s harsh,” he said, noting that whether they’re in Paris or Hawaii, it’s a labor. “[West] says no to a hundred things.”
As to the specifics of sound and scope, Yusef said “I can’t talk too much about it. Just remember black music, the black experience. It’s a throwback to that era,” he said, but “a distillation of what’s happening in the modern world.”
What it won’t have is a lot of West singing, or at least not as much singing as he did on 2008’s “808s & Heartbreak.”
“I don’t know if we’d ever revisit that amount of singing,” Yusef said.