A decade after “These Walls” appeared on Wooden Leather, the Nappy Roots crew decided to revisit the Kanye West-produced track after years of feeling the original song lacked the vocal approach it deserved. Take a listen to the revamped version below and hit the jump for the full story on the track’s origins and an interesting tidbit surrounding Kanye’s “Jesus Walks.”
Vice President of Nappy Roots Entertainment Group, Jonathan Hay, explains, “We’ve had this song with Kanye West for exactly ten years now. I’ve wanted to re-produce this song for a long time because I’ve always felt it was never done justice by us. I’m not saying this because I’m biased, but it has always been one of my favorite Kanye West tracks of all-time. It desperately needed to be revisited. I’m sure Kanye will be much happier with the song this time around.”
Ten years ago, superstar Kanye West was in the studio with the Grammy-nominated Nappy Roots for the follow up to their Atlantic Records debut Watermelon, Chicken & Gritz – one of the biggest selling rap albums of the year. West was producing a song for their next album and was in the studio to help them choose a track to write to and record. While listening to several of West’s productions, the group ran across an instrumental that immediately jumped out to them, but to their dismay, West told them that he already had plans for that song and he intended to keep that track for his own Roc-A-Fella Records debut album The College Dropout. The guys continued to press on about how much they wanted that particular song and tried to convince West to let them to use it on their album instead of “These Walls”, but West stuck to his guns. That track later became one of his career-defining singles “Jesus Walks”.
Can you imagine if Nappy Roots got their hands on “Jesus Walks” instead of Kanye releasing it himself? Crazy…