Kanye West’s Collaborators Come Together for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Panel | ComplexCon(versations)

Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is a rare kind of classic album—the one where the story of its creation is as fascinating as the end product.

So it only made sense for former Complex CCO Noah Callahan-Bever, who went to Hawaii for part of the MBDTF sessions and wrote a cover story about the experience, to host a ComplexCon(versations) panel featuring some of Yeezy's collaborators. Malik Yusef, Hype Williams, Selita Ebanks, Rick Ross, Mike Dean, and Consequence all shared their stories. 

Yusef traced the album's beginnings back to the now-infamous Taylor Swift incident. The record, Yusef said, was “more of a spiritual thing than a musical thing. It was an energy that took place when [Kanye] made Taylor Swift famous… We went to this artistic, somber-esque mode.” He also shared the story of how “All of the Lights” ended up in the form we know it today. 

Hype Williams and Selita Ebanks discussed creating the visual aspects of the album. Hype mentioned writing the script for the Runaway short film, and then remembered what happened next. “Kanye threw away the script, which he always does,” the filmmaker said. 

Ebanks, who played the Phoenix, recalled improvising her famous dance sequence, and revealed that she got the part at the suggestion of a certain First Daughter

Rick Ross, Consequence, and Mike Dean closed things out by bringing the discussion back to the music. Ross recalled Kanye disliking the first draft of his verse of “Devil in a New Dress.” Mike Dean spoke about his role, spending week after week in a room with Plain Pat.  

“[We'd be] doing 30 parts a day for each song,” he remembered. “Take them downstairs, 29 would get deleted. Every day for eight months.”

You can see the entire conversation above, and keep it locked to Complex as we'll be sharing more ComplexCon(versations) panels featuring the likes of André 3000, Lena Waithe, Ryan Coogler, Virgil Abloh, and more.

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Rick Ross Reveals Plans for Movie Collaboration With Gucci Mane

The 2016 video for Rick Ross, Gucci Mane and 2 Chainz’s “Buy Back the Block” may have contained a big clue about Ross’ next move in the entertainment industry. That nearly eight-minute-long clip found Ross and Gucci Mane at odds with a property owner leasing them land for a car wash startup, before the duo eventually sets their sights on an entire block of real estate.

“I am getting ready to shoot a film,” Ross recently told Tashara Jones of PageSix.com. “I got two different flicks that I am ready to make a move on. Me and Gucci Mane got a flick that we wrote together… All I can say is at the beginning of the film, I am at the car wash and it will go from there.”

As Ross pointed out, the “Buy Back the Block” video opened with he and Gucci at an independent car wash. It would seem their project borrows from that storyline in some form.

Two sites that advertise local talent casting posted casting call announcements in the Miami area for a Rick Ross project with the working title Mortgage. Both ClaimFame.com and Backstage.com announced casting calls for African-American men with large builds for paid, speaking lead roles. While filming for Mortgage was reportedly from July 8-10, it is unknown if the project was one of the two upcoming films Ross was referring to.

As for Gucci Mane, 2017 saw him release the independent short film The Spot. Prior to The Spot, Gucci appeared in Harmony Korine’s 2012 film Spring Breakers, which also starred Selena Gomez, James Franco, Ashley Benson and Vanessa Hudgens. Gucci Mane was credited as the character Archie.

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