Chaka Khan Says She’s Still Upset About ‘Sounding Like a Chipmunk’ on Kanye West’s ‘Through the Wire’ Song
Singer Chaka Khan still feels some type of way about how Kanye West manipulated her sample on his breakout 2003 single "Through the Wire."
On Monday (Aug. 1), the R&B legend talked with Fox 5's Good Morning DC in promotion of her new single "Woman Like Me." During the video chat, Chaka was asked about her previously stated gripe with Kanye West for speeding up the sample of her 1985 song "Through the Fire" on his first hit song as a solo artist. Chaka says has not heard from Kanye since she expressed her feelings about the track.
"No. I'm not looking to hear from Kanye either," Chaka Khan said at the 2:54-mark of the interview. "I've not heard from him and I'm not looking to hear from him. No. That's what he did. That's what he did with his music, you know. I was upset about sounding like a chipmunk but, you know, because he didn't put that when he asked to sample my song."
She continued, "[Kanye] didn't mention that he was gonna speed it up, you know, three times its normal speed. Had he, I would've had something to say. But since I didn't think of that—believe me, I think of it now—I ask, 'How are we gonna do this?'"
Chaka Khan has previously spoken about her disdain for how her song was used by Kanye. In 2019, she called Ye's version "stupid" while discussing the track on an episode of Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen.
"[Kanye] called me when he just got out of the hospital," Chaka Khan recounted. "He said, 'You were so instrumental in my healing process. I changed the words a little bit to the song but I had to eat through a wire. Jaws wired shut through a straw.' It meant that much to me. It really got my heart, tugged at my string. I was like, yeah, use it. Then when it came out, I was pissed. It was a little insulting. Not insulting, I thought it was stupid. If I'd known he was gonna do that, I would have said, 'Hell no.'"
Kanye West's "Through the Wire" was released in 2003, while Kanye's jaw was wired shut from injuries he suffered from a car accident. It wound up being the lead single to his debut album College Dropout.
Watch Chaka Khan Discuss Her Feelings on Kanye West's "Through the Wire" Below