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‘It Made You Money’: Chaka Khan Explains Being Upset with Kanye West for Making Her Sound Like a ‘Chipmunk’ on ‘Through the Wire,’ But Fans Are Over It

Sampling is one of the many pillars of hip-hop, but don’t tell that to Chaka Khan. The legendary singer’s voice was famously sampled on Kanye West’s debut single “Through the Wire,” which featured a distorted version of Khan’s 1984 hit “Through the Fire.” Recently the songwriter opened up about being contacted by the rapper and how she was “upset about sounding like a chipmunk.”

While promoting her new single “Woman Like Me” during an appearance on “Good Day DC,” Khan was asked by host Marissa Mitchell about her public dislike for the Grammy-nominated record and if there had ever been a conversation between her and the “Jail” rapper about the production of the single. 

It Made You Money': Chaka Khan Explains Being Upset with Kanye West for Making Her Sound Like a ?Chipmunk? on ?Through the Wire,? But Fans Are Over It
Chaka Khan (L) and Kanye West. Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Project Angel Food, Marc Piasecki/GC Images

“I’m not looking to hear from Kanye, either,” the 69-year-old star said. “No, I’ve not heard from him, and I’m not looking to hear from him. That’s what he did. That’s what he did with his music. I was upset about sounding like a chipmunk, ’cause he didn’t put that when he asked [if] he could use my, sample my song. He didn’t mention that he was gonna speed it up three times its normal speed.”

The “Ain’t Nobody” singer later admitted that had West told her of his plans, she might not have approved his request. Since the incident, the singer added that she now has people specify precisely how they intend to use her music before agreeing to license her songs. 

This isn’t the star’s first time speaking out about her disdain for West’s iconic “Chipmunk Soul” or “Chipmunk Hip Hop” production, which he became famous for earlier in his career. While on  “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen” in 2019, Khan called the track “stupid,” telling the Bravo Boss, “Not insulting, I thought it was stupid. If I’d known he was gonna do that, I would have said, ‘Hell no.’”

Critics on social media, however, felt differently, as many encouraged the veteran star to move on from the matter. “It was a hit record, it made you money, and it was a respectable track,” wrote one Twitter user. “Nobody thinks that’s what you sound like. Odd thing to get angry about.”

“She’s an icon, they need new questions to ask, same thing every time she pops out,” added another person.

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