will.i.am has nothing but respect for Kanye West‘s act of “revenge” after losing an MTV Video Music Award to the Black Eyed Peas in 2006.
HipHopDX caught up with the BEP frontman during a recent red carpet event and asked about his reaction to Will Ferrell quoting the hit song “My Humps” in his 2006 film, Blades of Glory. While will said the reference was “brilliant,” he finds what Ye then did with the soundbite seemingly out of spite to be even more brilliant.
“That was really brilliant but what was brilliant was how Kanye used it to start off ‘N-ggas In Paris,'” will told DX. “Because the year that we won the MTV [Video] Music Award for ‘My Humps,’ it [beat] one of Kanye’s songs. And he then used it and made the illest Hip Hop song ever made, so, it’s brilliant on many levels.”
At the 2006 VMAs, “My Humps” beat out Kanye’s “Gold Digger” with Jamie Foxx for Best Hip Hop Video. It also beat Common’s “Testify,” Daddy Yankee’s “Rompe” and Three 6 Mafia’s “Stay Fly” with Young Buck and 8Ball and MJG.
Sampling is something will.i.am is no stranger to. Late last year, he told the origin story behind the iconic crowd chant on Usher’s 2010 hit single “OMG” and revealed how it came from an unlikely source.
“They called me one day and was like, ‘Yo we need a hit.’ I’m like, ‘What type of hit?’ ‘Cause that’s a very vague thing. ‘You know, international. We need an international smash,’” will.i.am recalled. “‘I Got a Feeling’ was massive and I was hunting for an ‘I Got a Feeling.’ I’m like, ‘Yo man, I need a song like freaking Kool & The Gang ‘Celebrate’ that plays everywhere, at every birthday party, every Bar Mitzvah, every freaking football game. I need a song like that.”
While on the hunt for this song, will.i.am remembered a performance with The Black Eyed Peas he had previously done in France, and said after they ran through their juggernaut hit “I Got a Feeling” the crowd started chanting.
“So I’m like, ‘Yo, what the fuck is that?’” will.i.am said. “So I go to the TV host I’m like, ‘Excuse me, what’s this?’ He’s like, ‘It means they like the Black Eyed Peas.’ I’m like, can you send me this?”
The host sent along an mp3 of the crowd chanting, and when asked by Usher to produce an “international hit” brought that soundbite to his team, and it fit perfectly with “OMG.”
The song, off Usher’s platinum sixth studio album Raymond v. Raymond, would go on to become the R&B star’s ninth No.1 hit in the US, making him the first 2010s artist to collect No.1 singles in three consecutive decades.