Kanye West’s Tender Letter To Steely Dan Members Helped Clear Sample
(AllHipHop News) Kanye West succeeded in persuading Steely Dan star Donald Fagen to let him use a sample from his song “Kid Charlemagne” after writing the rock veteran a heartfelt note.
Fagen admits he and late bandmate Walter Becker were far from impressed with Kanye's use of the track on “Champion” when he first requested clearance ahead of the release of his 2010 album Graduation, and they turned the rapper down.
"Walter and I listened to it and although we'd love some of the income, neither of us particularly liked what he had done with it," Fagen tells Spin .
But he and his bandmate had a change of heart when West reached out to them personally and explained what “Champion” meant to him, and that their song had helped him mend his relationship with his father.
"I wrote a letter to Donald Fagen and explained to him the importance of this song to me, and of expressing these feelings to my father," the rapper says. "I think it’s what made the difference in getting the sample cleared."
Fagen recalls, "He said, ‘I love your stuff, and I really want to use it because it’s a very personal thing for me'.
"My mind doesn’t work like that - I would never use someone else’s stuff if I was writing something personal, but I guess that’s how he was thinking about it. It was such a good letter that we said, 'All right, go ahead', and we made a deal