Guest Star: "When You Go Into A Kanye West Session, You Might Think You're In The Cotton Club"

Tuesday, Nov 16, 2010 2:00PM

Written by SOHH for Charlie Wilson

[With Kanye West's much-anticipated comeback nearing fruition, "See Me Now" collaborator Charlie Wilson recalls working on the rapper's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.]

I don't know how everybody is looking at it, but I think Kanye West is, like, the greatest producer/rapper right now that we've got. Hands down. And n*ggas say he's taking it back to old school but Kanye to me never does anything the same way twice.

Your ears might play tricks on you and thinking it may sound like College Dropout; to me, Kanye is just, [simply] the greatest producer and performer that we have right now. People can say [I'm saying it] because I'm on his records but nah, I knew that from day one. He's been doing beats for Jay-Z and everybody. Everything he was giving people at the start of his career was a banger. That's just it, hands down.

Whatever he does, he can turn in to. It's like, the stuff he was giving Justin Bieber, he turned into Justin Bieber. The stuff he gave to Nicki Minaj, he knew exactly how to do it. The stuff he gave to Jay-Z, he knew how to do that. And the stuff he's given Taylor Swift, he just turned into "that" person. He just knows the person he's doing music for. And the album he's getting ready to do on me is going to be ridiculous. It just doesn't make no sense right there.

Working with Kanye West is like night and day. I done been to a lot hip-hop sessions, pages of them, and Kanye West, when you go into his sessions, you might think you're in the Cotton Club, as far as the dress is concerned. I'm telling you, I'm talking about the Cotton Club from back in the 1920's. I'm talking about everyone up in there is suited and booted. From the engineer to the runner to whoever is in there, everybody has a suit and tie on and shoes to match. It's like one of the most incredible sights in there. Everybody in there has a suit and tie on. And when Kanye comes in there, [he's] the life of the party.

It's crazy. Two or three studios [are] going on at the same time and he's bouncing out of each one of them. Everybody is dressed to kill. You got a barber in there, you got people doing hair, whatever you want, it's right there. Everything is in there, it's crazy. I've never been in a studio like that with nobody else, no other hip-hop artist. It's incredible.

Charlie Wilson is a veteran R&B/soul singer and the lead vocalist of The Gap Band. Over the past few months, Wilson has linked with Kanye West for G.O.O.D. Music Friday releases and appears on the "See Me Now" single.

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