On the latest episode of the Uproxx podcast People’s Party With Talib Kweli, rapper and producer Evidence of Dilated Peoples stops by talk about his experiences from 20+ years in the rap game, the differences in the different areas of LA, and his short-lived beef with Eminem. He also has some pretty funny Kanye West stories stemming from their time working on the Dilated Peoples hit “This Way” and Kanye’s own “Last Call” from The College Dropout, which Ev says was actually intended for another rapper entirely.
“While he was making ‘Last Call,’ I submitted the beat,” he says. “Jay-Z was doing Black Album, [Kanye] and me driving in my car one day — he didn’t have a car in LA — I’m driving him around… ‘I got a beat that says ‘Mr. Rockefeller,’ can you get this to Jay-Z for me?’ And he’s like, ‘Let me hear it,’ and it plays for a minute or two and he goes, ‘Nope, I think I’m gonna use that, ’cause I’m the new Mr. Rocafella.'” It all works out in the end, though; as it turns out, Kanye did wind up playing the beat for Jay-Z — as depicted in the Fade To Black documentary that accompanied his “retirement” album — but also kept it for himself, turning it into an iconic hip-hop moment in the process.
Ev says he and Kanye did have to have an awkward conversation at the studio, though; in typical Kanye fashion, the mercurial would-be superstar wanted to sort out attribution of all the sounds used in the beat. “He was like, ‘So, this is gonna be the biggest rap album in history, we need to talk about what happens when people ask who did what.'” Evidence jokes that Kanye determined to credit Evidence with the music and himself with the drums — even though it wasn’t quite so cut and dry. There are even more gems about production, touring, and crate digging in the full episode, which you can watch up top.
People’s Party is a weekly interview show hosted by hip-hop legend Talib Kweli. The show features big-name guests exploring hip-hop, culture, and politics. You can subscribe to it on Apple Music, Spotify, and watch episodes on the Uproxx Video Youtube page.