Speaking on The Coda Collection with Andrew Barber, Lupe recalled a time Arista Records executive Antonio “L.A” Reid told West he wasn’t a fan of his rhyming ability before he signed to Jay-Z‘s Roc-A-Fella Records.
“We brought Ye into Arista to showcase for L.A. Reid before Roc-A-Fella,” Lupe said. “Stack Bundles was sitting there. Imagine it’s me, Stack Bundles, Kanye, and L.A. Reid in the office.”
He continued: “When [West] stopped [rapping], L.A. was like, ‘Yo you should stick to making music, stick to making beats.’ So that’s why I always honour Ye, no matter how crazy he goes. I’ve seen that man struggle.”
West and Lupe met while the former was producing Beanie Sigel’s ‘The Truth’. From there the pair became friends, bouncing ideas off each other. Their biggest collaboration to date came in 2005 on ‘Touch The Sky’ from West’s Late Registration album.
The producer, songwriter and executive is one of several artists to sell the rights to their future royalties to the Hipgnosis Song Fund. Reid was also been appointed to its advisory board.