Aziz Ansari recently showed up on Bill Simmons’s podcast where he shared some crazy, fly-on-the-wall, oh-my-God, I wish I was there to see that, stories about watching Kanye West and Jay Z working together during the recording of the their collaboration album Watch The Throne. The comedian has been friends with Kanye for a long time, though not so much lately since Yeezy has settled down — “The Life of Pablo was the first time since Graduation that I heard a Kanye album without hearing any of it before,” he said — and talked to the sports czar about that especially prolific period from 2010 to 2013 in particular.
“Twisted Fantasy and Watch The Throne? That was a great time to be friends with Kanye,” Ansari joked. He then recalled a time when the three of them were chilling out in a hotel room watching a basketball game together.
“We were sitting there…Jay Z’s just kind of staring off, and he just taps Kanye, and he very quickly whispers this rap,” he recalled. “It was one of the raps in the song and he had just come up with it, and it was long and so complicated. It ended up being in another album, but he just whispered this, they were going to do a song called ‘Living So Italian’ …and they couldn’t clear the sample or something, but Jay Z had a verse he had come up with right there, and it ended up being in another Jay Z song on the <em>Magna Carta </em>album.”
The song he’s referencing appears to be “F**kWithMeYouKnowIGotIt.”
He also talked about the listening to the more primitive, extended version of Yeezus before he took it to Rick Rubin to be reduced. Apparently, Kanye would let anyone listen to the material from that album to get their opinion, including the Hermes bag delivery guy.
“One time he was like, ‘Hey, I’m leaving soon, but…come meet me in the lobby of the Mercer,’” he said. “He was like, ‘I just came up with this song called ‘New Slaves.’ And he played the beat on his laptop, bump bump bump buh dum bump, and then he just rapped the whole song for me, right in the middle of the Mercer. He just did the, ‘I’m bout to wild the f**k out, I’m going Bobby Boucher!’ And there’s like someone [sitting nearby] eating eggs.”
The entire interview is worth a listen, but the Jay and Ye parts are especially interesting. You can check it out for yourself at about the 1:04:00 mark below.