A tweet from earlier this week pointed out how quickly the price went up for Kanye West beats during his break into stardom, going from $500 to $30,000 within the space of a year. It reiterated just how precipitous his come-up was, and 9th Wonder pointed out a really interesting story behind his rise through a series of tweets. The story details the first time 9th Wonder met ‘Ye and explains just how hard West had to work to be hear during his career’s early phases.
“Phonte spotted him standing in the hotel lobby of the Durham Marriott,” 9th recalled in a tweet, “so we walked over to talk to him. We introduced ourselves… his reply was, ‘yeah man I know who y’all are man, I wanna do a song with y’all.””
‘Ye would go on to play them a number of songs from his album that several labels had turned down at the time. “Kanye kept saying ‘Man people just don’t get what I’m trying to do. Just life music,'” he explained in a tweet. Later on, Kanye would come over to 9th Wonder’s apartment at the time to “edit some stuff” for an upcoming show, and he brought along a VHS tape with “Through The Wire” written on it.
“We all thought it was dope, but again, Kanye went on and on about BET was slow to play it… because they didn’t get it.” Later in the year, their paths crossed again when Kanye was tapped to perform at the Billboard R&B and Hip-Hop Awards, but he only got the chance to perform “Through The Wire,” and 9th Wonder says there was zero reaction from the audience.
Not too long after that, Kanye was headlining his own shows, and he brought along with him John Legend. The crowd wasn’t all that warm toward the future hitmaker.
John Legend appeared to remember, too.
Wrapping up the tweets, he said, “If I learned anything from the whole experience… is that to this day… that chip on his shoulder is real. Outside of the tastemakers, people don’t listen to music. They watch, and they need qualifiers. I saw FIRST hand how ‘Ye, John Legend, shit… even Kendrick Lamar booed and fronted on… same hit songs… different qualifiers. I Saw Kanye and John Legend perform ‘Through The Wire’ and ‘Ordinary People’ and get booed. People have no clue, fam.”