Chaka Khan Was ‘Pissed’ at How Kanye West Used Her Vocal Sample in 'Through the Wire'

Chaka Khan admits she never directly told Kanye West this but she felt “insulted” with the rapper’s remake of her song, “Through the Fire.” "I thought it was stupid," she said.

It’s been more than a decade since Kanye West released “Through the Wire,” his own take on Chaka Khan’s chart-topper, “Through the Fire.” However, this is the first time the Queen of Funk is speaking up about her disappointment over Kanye’s version of her famous song.


Khan’s recent interview with Andy Cohen on ‘Watch What Happens Live” opened up old wounds dating back to 2004. It was the time she received a call from West who notified her of his intention to record her song his own way. 

Initially pleased, Khan said it “pulled at my [heart] strings] because the rapper had just got out of the hospital and told her she “was instrumental in my healing process.” West informed her he changed a little bit of the lyrics but he “had to eat through a wire” and “was wired shut, through a straw.'"

"It meant that much to me and it really got my heart. It pulled... at my [heart] strings. So I said, 'Yeah. Use it,'" the 66-year-old recalled. 

"If I had known he was gonna do that I would've said, 'Hell no.'"


However, it was a different story after the song was released.

“[The conversations went] very differently than the song turned out. Obviously," Khan told Cohen. “I was pissed,” she said later.“I was a little insulted — not insulted, I thought it was stupid. If I had known he was gonna do that I would've said, 'Hell no.'"

"What can I say? The best way to tell him is silence. And give him crickets."

Though she wasn’t happy with the end result, Khan said she was paid for it. And she never told West how she felt. 

"I didn't. What can I say? The best way to tell him is silence. And give him crickets."


 “Through the Wire” didn’t earn Khan’s respect, but it gained appreciation at the Grammys. It was nominated for Best Rap Solo Performance in 2005 and won Video of the Year at the 2004 Source Hip Hop Awards.

West has yet to comment on Khan’s latest claims. He has been pretty busy lately with the birth of his fourth child, Psalm, an album he’s recording and the demands of his Yeezy label. We won’t be surprised though if he soon came out with a comment knowing how vocal he is about issues surrounding him.

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