John Legend thinks witnessing Kanye West’s success helped him prepare for fame – Up News Info
John Legend felt primed for success watching his good friend Kanye West soar to fame in the early 2000s.
The All of Me hitmaker moved to New York in 2000 to try and secure a record deal and his roommate introduced him to rapper Stronger the following year.
They worked together on the demos of their early albums and Legend stayed away as West found critical and commercial success with The College Dropout in early 2004.
Reflecting on their early friendship in an interview with The Guardian, Legend explained that watching West’s rise helped prepare him for his own.
“Me and Kanye were working on each other’s demos — mine, which would become Get Lifted, and his, which would be The College Dropout,” he said. “Being with Kanye and seeing him explode early on helped prepare me for what was to come. When success finally came for me, I felt like I wasn’t overwhelmed by it.”
Legend recalled how writing credits to The College Dropout immediately made it more appealing to record labels who had previously rejected it.
“A lot of people in the industry would say ‘no’ to me,” he shared. “I was getting really low offers for record deals or people telling me to work harder on my demo.
“Finally, The College Dropout came out in 2004 and it took off. That’s when the music on Get Lifted started to sound a whole lot better to everyone responsible for the record.”
Legend signed to West’s GOOD Music label and released Get Lifted later that year. He declined to comment on the current status of the friendship with the rapper after their feud over political differences several years ago.