Todd Rundgren didn’t hold back on detailing his frustrations working with Kanye West on the rapper’s new album Donda. In a new interview with Ultimate Classic Rock ahead of his induction in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, Rundgren revealed what he felt was the driving force behind the album’s chaotic rollout and constant changes: Kanye’s rivalry with Drake.
“My involvement went on for a year, and in the end I realized why they hurriedly wrapped the whole thing up and put out what is obviously really raw, unprocessed stuff,” he said. “It’s because Drake was running the whole process. He was too afraid that Drake would one-up him, so he hurried up and released the album the weekend before Drake could get his out. And in the end, Drake ate his lunch anyway.”
Rundgren also echoed a concern expressed by another former Kanye collaborator, Soulja Boy, who ripped the producer for leaving him off the final tracklist and “wasting his time.” Rundgren called Kanye a “dilettante” who only dabbled in producing while designing shoes and wasting the rocker’s efforts. “I’m still a producer, and I don’t just want to be like driftwood in the process,” he said. He also criticized Kanye’s adherence to spectacle over craftsmanship, insisting, “Nobody would regularly make records like that unless they had stupid money to throw around. Nobody rents a stadium to make a record in. Nobody flies in the entire world of hip-hop just to croak one syllable, just so you can say that everybody was on it.”
However, he said he has no idea if he’s even on the project. “I have three albums worth of Kanye stems on my computer,” he revealed. “Because I kept getting called by Kanye to add vocals onto the record. When it got into the homestretch in July, I just said, ‘That’s enough for me. I have no idea whether any of this is being used.’ You don’t get much feedback from him regarding what it is.” The lack of communication has left him in the dark, unable to discern if he even has a role in all the clutter. “If I can contribute something, fine,” he conceded. “If I can’t, just let me know. I’m out of here […] There is a possibility that I’m actually in there somewhere. There’s so much junk in that record!”