Music producers allegedly laughed at Kanye West the first time he performed Jesus Walks
Before he was selling out Madison Square Garden, topping charts and designing the most sought-after sneaker of the moment, Kanye was just a dude working in the studio, trying to find his place in the industry.
According to Jensen Karp's new book Kanye West Owes Me $300, the former rapper who used to be known as Hot Karl shared a number of stories about his memories in the music industry, most notably working with a young Kanye West.
In an excerpt shared by Vulture, Karp revealed that Kanye played him and a room full of other producers an early draft of Jesus Walks, years before the track came out.
"As the song played, Kanye acted out and mouthed his lyrics, something he always did while his own music played, and I assume still does," Karp wrote.
He continued: "He acted as if a music video was always being filmed around him, displaying yet another example of the unaware enthusiasm (and egotism) that would make him the butt of almost every joke at Baseline."
Karp said that while some people in the room gave Kanye positive feedback, most laughed at him when he left the room and made fun of his enthusiastic performance.
"A few people even mocked him, mimicking his rap voice and making fun of his over-the-top zeal," revealed Karp, adding: "One major producer in the room even asked his assistant to make sure Kanye never performed like that again."
The song later went on to score Kanye a Grammy for Best Rap Song in 2005. The lesson? Never give up on your dreams, even if people laugh at your over-zealous dancing.