On this week’s episode of People’s Party with Talib Kweli, Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas joined Kweli and Jasmin Leigh to talk about his journey as a multi-platinum rapper, producer, tech leader, investor, and philanthropist. Will also shared a particularly generous take on Ye’s (formerly Kanye West) recent negative comments about Kweli, sharing a theory that came to him while he was on a hike.
For a bit of context, a few months back Ye was a guest on Drink Champs and revealed that he was not the biggest fan of Black Star or Kweli’s style, in particular, stating, “I used them.” An admission that took many hip-hop heads by surprise and hurt Will on a personal level.
“He’s different than the person he broadcasts,” explained Will. “The broadcasting of Kanye is different than the actual Kanye that you sit and talk to. The sensitive one. When these two things exist in the world- the broadcast hurts the one that makes you like ‘Yo, that’s my dude.’”
But while listening to the Ye and Talib collab “Get Em High,” Will came upon a few bars from Kanye weaving a story about trying to use his connection to Black Star to get laid. After you hear Will’s perspective, it reframes the tone Ye brought to Drink Champs.
“Without this lyric and without the doc, it sounded like vampiric, draconian, leech n**** shit. Like “I’m leeching on you and I don’t really care about you. Fuck you. I just did this trickery. But under this umbrella — it’s light.”
Only Will.i.am could share such a Psychology 101 moment, offering insight into the mind of Kanye West. To get more of these insights from the leader of one of hip-hop’s coolest rap groups ever check out this week’s episode of People’s Party with Talib Kweli and watch the clip above to hear Will.i.am’s Charlie Day-level theory.