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Kanye West dons the cover of Complex’s December/January 2011 issue, for the cover story Editor-in-Chief Noah Callahan-Bever traveled to Hawaii to give us a behind the scenes look at the creative process of Kanye & his “Fantasy Rap Camp” for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. You also get commentary from key contributors to the project, that includes: Nicki Minaj, Justin Vernon, Pusha T, KiD CuDi, Pete Rock & Q-Tip. Check out the excerpt below from Q-Tip:

“I’d never worked the way Kanye was working in Hawaii. Everybody’s opinions mattered and counted. You would walk in, and there’s Consequence and Pusha T and everybody is sitting in there and he’s playing music and everyone is weighing in. It was like music by committee. [Laughs.] It was fresh that everybody cared like that. I have my people that listen to my stuff—I think everybody does—but his thing is much more like, if the delivery guy comes in the studio and Kanye likes him and they strike up a conversation, he’ll go, ‘Check this out, tell me what you think.’ Which speaks volumes about who he is and how he sees and views people. Every person has a voice and an idea, so he’s sincerely looking to hear what you have to say—good, bad, or whatever.

“In art, whether it was Michelangelo or Rembrandt or all these dudes, they’ll sketch something, but their hands may not necessarily touch the paint. Damien Hirst may conceptualize it, but there’s a whole crew of people who are putting it together, like workers. His hand doesn’t have to touch the canvas, but his thought does. With Kanye, when he has his beats or his rhymes, he offers them to the committee and we’re all invited to dissect, strip, or add on to what he’s already started. By the end of the sessions, you see how he integrates and transforms everyone’s contributions, so the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. He’s a real wizard at it. What he does is alchemy, really.”

Read more of Quincy’s takedown (although it seems like he doesn’t quite know Kanye’s production history and thinks that he started out as a rapper)

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