Zilla Rocca has never tried liquid cocaine, but he’s willing to give it a chance if it means he can record with Raekwon.
Question: “Remember when Ye called this his “boom bap record”?
It was all going according to plan….until Scott Mescudi pulled Kanye aside and asked him if he wanted to ride the white horse down nightmare alley!
Rawse and Raekwon were already in town to lay some guest vocals when Cudi asked them about getting some bumps in before his session. Rae pulled out an envelope he kept in his Gucci carry-all. Cudi asked for more. Rawse said he could have a ki hauled in via cruise ship by the night’s end.
The next day, Rawse and Rae pulled out switchblades to give Cudi a sweet sniffle of that Peruvian powder at only $18K a ki (an “industry look”). Cudi was all in; he just got paid $30k to play Nickelodeon’s Kid Choice Awards. But Kanye walked in their hotel room to ask about those raps they wrote for him, unknowingly interupting their deal. Everyone froze. Cudi laughed awkwardly, saying he just “needed to feel good for this album” while Rae and Rick said nothing. They all knew Kanye was reluctant; he had prided himself in turning down tokes of weed over the years–he so hungry and focused back when he was trying to get on, only regretting it when Cam and Jimmy clowned him for not tasting that uptown Purple Haze. They ridiculed him and his preppy clothes in front of Dame an’ them but fuck them cause I’m getting Jon Brion on my shit!
People stop passing joints his way. Then people stopped smoking in the studio whenever he had time booked. It just wasn’t something you did around Kanye West.
But that was five years ago, and Kanye wasn’t as lonely then. He wasn’t as rich and influential back then either. He had a rough two years; this was his exile, his vacation from the bright lights. Truthyfully, he was burnt out but could never admit it to the hordes of people who depended on his hitmaking prowess to stay afloat every year.
He admired Cudi for his singing, sure, but the lonesome smokehound from Cleveland had this air of bulletproof vulnerability that Kanye envied. He knew it was strange to be jealous of one of his employees, but everytime he looked at Cudi he thought, ‘Damn, to be that young and paid and creative again…no one hates him, no one scrutinizes him like me, no one picks apart his outfits and his entourage. He’s free. I want to be free again. I can write the best raps in the world and people won’t forgive me for that Taylor Swift bullshit. I want to feel invincible!’
Kanye yelled out to Really Doe to pull $9K cash from the box of chess pieces he got in Mongolia (it reminded him of his favorite producer, The RZA), counted it, then tossed it along with Cudi’s share to Shallah Rae and Rozay saying, “No one man should have all that powder…Johnson&Johnson”. Cudi started clapping and laughing and jumping up and down like a goddamn fool. He had the devil in him and that devil’s grip would soon tug at Ye. Raekwon could clearly see it. But he had a wife and private school admissions to pay for back home so he and Rawse split the money and went back to writing.
The first sniff felt like heaven, like when Kanye first heard that “Five to One” sample for “The Takeover”, when Jay let him rhyme on “Blueprint 2” for the first time, when Complex Magazine started consulting with him on urban fashion.
He WAS invincible.
He WAS a motherfucking MONSTER.
He was YEEZY, YE TUDDA, GOOD MUSIC’S CHIEF DREAMER, THE BLACK PICASSO, THE ONLY RAP NINJA TO EVER WORK WITH COLDPLAY AND BON IVER AND DAFT PUNK AND ELTON JOHN!
And he was going to make the biggest album of his career. Boom bap wouldn’t cut it anymore. He wasn’t going to sleep for 3 weeks. He was going to make a movie. He was giving away his music for free every week because the shit he was REALLY gonna put out was perfection. He put diamonds in his mouth. He stop taking calls from Common and Consequence because they would surely scold him for his new crowd of friends. He was on Tumblr. He was watching p0rn. He was eating waffles at 4pm. He was making his 3 minute songs 6 minutes long and his 6 minute songs 9 minutes long. NOBODY IN RAP EVER DONE THAT BEFO’!
He was on fucking fire. He was making his manifesto. Nothing else mattered anymore.
Mama West was in heaven looking down wondering why her baby done changed so much..