Kanye West - All of the Lights (feat. Rihanna, Elly Jackson of La Roux, Kid Cudi, Fergie, Alicia Keys & Elton John)
[Produced by Kanye West & co-produced by Jeff Bhasker]
Additional vocals: Tony Williams, The-Dream, Charlie Wilson, John Legend, Ryan Leslie, Drake, Alvin Fields & Ken Lewis
In 2010, Kanye West flew various artists out to work on his sixth, now universally acclaimed 5th studio album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, in Hawaii. One of the songs Kanye started working on early was a song, titled then, as Ghetto University with only Malik Yusef & Elton John. Kanye, at first, didn’t want the song on the album because he “didn’t feel it was good enough.” Malik instilled the idea of a different chorus, that would be then written for Rihanna, and it took off from there.
Kanye had then wrote the remainder of the song with Malik & Elton, and got the brilliant idea to write certain bits of the song for certain artists, which brought him the idea to fly 15 artists out to do each part he had written for the respective artists.
The record centers around one specific bit, and a bit Kanye wanted to make extremely special, and that’s the bridge of the song, the bridge is a duet of Kid Cudi’s bit over Elton John’s piano medley. If you know the bridge, then you know it’s mind-blowing brilliant.
* & if the rumors and stories are true, Kid Cudi’s bridge bit was done in one take. ONE TAKE.
The remainder bits of the song take after back vocal effects and vocal harmonizing by The-Dream, Charlie Wilson, Drake, John Legend, Ryan Leslie, Tony Williams, Alvin Fields & Ken Lewis.
Basis of the record: Rihanna has the chorus, Elly Jackson has the pre-chorus, Kanye has 2 of the 3 verses, Kid Cudi & Elton John’s duet is the centerpiece, Fergie has the third and final verse with a bridge finish break in the beat, and Rihanna & Drake share a brief third break in the song prior to the finale where the remaining vocalists bring us home with the finish providing a second duet by Elton John, but this time, trading vocals with Alicia Keys, and summing up the grand finale by The-Dream.