September 11, 2017 marked the ten-year anniversary of one of Kanye West’s best albums, Graduation. The title track on the album has quite an interesting back-story to it — as shared by Fool’s Gold Recordingshead honcho A-Trak in a recent interview with Billboard.
Back then, A-Trak was much more involved in DJing rather than producing music, as he was also Kanye’s tour DJ. In fact, A-Trak takes credit for introducing Kanye to Daft Punk’s original track, ‘Harder Better Faster Stronger,’ which the rapper would then go on to remix and rebrand as his Grammy-winning single.
Initially, A-Trak was “against the idea” as he felt it might come across as “cheap” to sample “such a big international hit.” However, after hearing how much Kanye had “flipped” the track in the process of turning it into a “futuristic Hip-Hop” track, the producer put aside his reservations and acknowledged what would become one of the decade’s most recognizable hip-hop tracks.
The producer further goes on to acknowledge that part that Graduationplayed in “breaking down the barriers” that genres of the time faced, and how it was a “cross-pollination of genres.”