The sample is from a Steely Dan song Kid Charlemagne. The personnel on this track includes two of the greatest and most-sampled rhythm section players ever, drummer Bernard “Pretty” Purdie and bassist Chuck Rainey.
Donald Fagan of Steely Dan spoke with Complex about this song:
And more recently, Kanye West sampled Kid Charlemagne. Are you approached by the artists? How does that work?"
It’s changed over the years. In the beginning, they used them without asking, and then, there were lawsuits, so they started asking for licenses. Now, when they sample, they almost always ask for a license. Our management will make a deal where we get part of the composing royalties.
Kanye actually sent us a sample of his tunes, and frankly, 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. We said No, at first, and then he wrote us a hand-written letter that was kind of touching, about how the song was about his father, and 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 with him.
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