Kanye West hurried to release Donda before Drake dropped his album Certified Lover Boy, musician Todd Rundgren says. In an interview with Ultimate Classic Rock shared on Tuesday (Sept. 14), Rundgren, who worked on Donda, said the album’s rollout was rushed due to Drake’s fast-approaching Certified Lover Boy release date.
“My involvement went on for a year and in the end I realized why they hurriedly wrapped the whole thing up and put out what is obviously really raw, unprocessed stuff,” Rundgren told the outlet. “It’s because Drake was running the whole process. [Kanye] was too afraid that Drake would one-up him, so he hurried up and released the album the weekend before Drake could get his out. And in the end, Drake ate his lunch anyway.”
Rundgren said was recruited to work on Donda by Kanye’s friend and collaborator 88-Keys. However, he said he ultimately became frustrated with the album’s delay and opted out two months before its release. None of Rundgren’s material seems to have made Donda’s final cut, as his name is not listed under the album’s credits.
“When it got into the homestretch in July, I just said, ‘That’s enough for me. I have no idea whether any of this is being used,’” he explained. “There is a possibility that I’m actually in there somewhere. There’s so much junk in that record!”
He added, “… Nobody would regularly make records like that unless they had stupid money to throw around. Nobody rents a stadium to make a record in. Nobody flies in the entire world of hip hop just to croak one syllable, just so you can say that everybody was on it.”
Rundgren isn’t the only artist who has suggested Kanye kept tabs on Certified Lover Boy while promoting Donda. In July, Consequence tweeted and deleted that Ye was “looking for [Drake’s] drop date” before releasing his own album.
Donda earned Kanye his ninth consecutive No. 1 album, a feat that tied him with Eminem. However, Drake’s Certified Lover Boy moved 613,000 units – nearly doubling Donda’s 309,000 – within its opening week, marking the biggest debut sales week of the year.