US rappers Kanye West and Jay-Z (L) perf

GUILLAUME BAPTISTE

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The only place more random than a Kanye West album for Michael Bolton to appear on may be Genius.com. The annotation site allows fans, musicians, and scholars to interpret various works, with musicians often gaining the most prominence for explaining their lyrics or how particular songs came about. In Bolton’s case, Kanye West sampled Bolton’s 1980 song, “Maybe It’s The Power Of Love” for “Never Let Me Down” from The College Dropout.

Bolton wrote the following about clearing a sample for a song he and fellow Blackjack member Bruce Kulick wrote some 24 years before Kanye and Jay Z’s publishing reps approached them.

“When Kanye and Jay-Z’s publishing reps reached out to me about clearing this sample, I was surprised and flattered.

I wrote this song in the early 80s. If you told me back then that 20 years later it would have a second life in the work of two great hip hop artists, I would have called you crazy!

Happy as I was, I wanted to make sure that I was cool with the content of the song before giving the go-ahead. So I had them send me the lyrics. I read them, and I thought “I love this. It’s great. What a positive message.”

And the song turned out beautifully — I’m totally happy with it.”

You can view Bolton’s verified annotations on Genius.com, and if you need a refresher on West’s sample, listen to “Never Let Me Down” below.

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