Elton John Says He'd Love To Incorporate Hip Hop In His Music
Elton John says he would like to work with Pharrell and Kanye West and that he is grateful for Aloe Blacc's "The Man" which samples his cut, "Your Song."
"I'd love to," Elton John says. "I just don't know how to do it. I do love electronica. So, for me, I'd have to work with someone who knows about it, like a Pharrell or a Kanye [West], who I respect tremendously. I'd love to do that. It's just a matter of when and where and, should I do it, the mood that I'm in. You can never tell. It's happenstance and luck, basically."
Elton John Says He Was "In The Presence Of Greatness" With Kanye West
Elton John says he's enjoyed past work in Hip Hop, including contributions to Kanye West's "All of the Lights."
"I like to do things outside of the Elton John genre," Elton John says. "Doing other things is a challenge and a learning experience. Playing and singing on 'All of the Lights' with Kanye, playing with Queens of the Stone Age, the Fall Out Boy record, they're all different kinds of music. And they were a challenge for me, so I loved it. It's also outside of what I do, so I learn something from that. You never can knock anybody else's type of music until you try it. I could never do a rap record because I wouldn't know where to start. You can learn so much from working with somebody that does. In the studio with Kanye, when I was doing that in Honolulu, he was just on fire. It was amazing to watch. You knew you were in the presence of greatness. I knew once I heard four or five tracks from that in the studio, I knew it was going to be a motherfucker of a record."
Elton John says Kanye West has had more than one album that he's been impressed by.
"808s & Heartbreak came out of left field and just blew my mind," Elton John says. "I was like, 'What?' And then each album he does is a little different. With us, Elton John was different than Tumbleweed Connection and Madman Across the Water was different from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. We tried to change with each record. When I did Rock of the Westies, it was a heavier sound. Then I did Blue Moves, which was probably my most sophisticated record. But, yeah, I love Kanye because he's not afraid of taking a chance and pushing barriers. Working with people like that is something that I really enjoy."
Elton John Says He's Grateful For Sample On Aloe Blacc's "The Man"
Elton John also enjoys the work of another rapper, Aloe Blacc.
"I am on the radio with Aloe Blacc because he samples 'Your Song' [on 'The Man,']" Elton John says. "I'm very grateful for that. It's a Top 10 record, and those little things come along and they give you a big kick up the bum and that's great, fantastic. It means your music is still relevant, but in a different form, in a different way. And I'm all for moving on."
Beyond his work with Kanye West, Elton John also performed with Eminem in 2001. Their performance at the Grammys that year, which is below, also sparked a friendship that remains important for the artists. In 2009, Eminem discussed Elton John's friendship and his assistance with recovery and addiction.
"I talk to Elton a lot," Eminem said at the time. "We became friends and I talk to him about things, career wise. And he had a substance abuse problem in the past. So when I first wanted to get sober, I called him and spoke to him about it because, you know, he's somebody who's in the business and can identify and relate to the lifestyle and how hectic things can be. He understands like the pressure and any other reasons that you wanna come up with for doing drugs, you know."