Kareem “Biggs” Burke, co-founder of Roc-A-Fella Records sat down with journalist, Speed Morman, to chat about how he spotted Kanye West’s genius back in the day.
The music mogul spoke about Ye’s three part documentary series, “Jeen-yuhs” on Netflix, which documents his life in different stages.
In the interview Biggs said when he first met Ye he was “hungry, talented and comedic”.
“His thirst to get on was like unmatched. Even for the people we had down with us, we had a lot of talent with us, but not the hunger that he had.
“He would play a beat for Jay (-Z) and then start rapping to his own verses. He was like, ʻlook, you going to take this beat with me, without me, whatever it is’. And nobody else would do anything like that,” said Biggs.
He said he took Ye seriously because of his energy.
“Kanye will play a song, he doesn’t care if you on the phone or what’s happening. He’s going to be right there rapping in your face until you put that phone down.
“Literally he would jump on a console, jump on a table and rap every lyric to whatever it is that was playing. He made sure that his presence was felt, the song was felt, the production was felt and you left there knowing who Kanye was,” Biggs said.
Further along, Biggs clears up the accusation that Roc-A-Fella Records wouldn’t take Ye seriously, as mentioned in the documentary.
“I did. The talent was something in the sound sonically. He had brought something that we haven’t heard at that time, even to the point that Dame (Dash) didn’t believe in it,” he said.
Biggs said he pushed hard for Ye to have his own album.
“Dame wanted to make a mix tape and get everyone on it, and I was like, this project is to special.
“The talent is to special, so I fought for that so he can have that solo album. So it can be a full Kanye project,” he said.
Watch the full interview below:
* “Jeen-Yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy” is directed by Coodie & Chike and is streaming on Netflix.