Kanye West decided to go back to recording after he was inspired by fellow rapper Drake's chart success.
The Gold Digger hitmaker took a brief break from music in 2009, following his highly-publicized stage invasion at the MTV Video Music Awards where he snatched the microphone from Taylor Swift to protest after she won a prize over his friend Beyonce.
Around the same time, actor-turned-rapper Drake released his debut EP, which featured chart topper Best I Ever Had, and the record prompted West to hole up in a Hawaii studio to work on his next project.
West tells France's Clique TV, "I look at Drake as an amazing sparring partner. You know, someone's who's like, 'Come on man, get back up... What's up, bro? What you doing?' Because I was sitting there getting fat, you know, just knocked everybody out.
"And then this guy (Drake) hits the gym and he's just like, running around, fourteen hits, same as Paul McCartney. I'm like, 'Whoa, OK. Let me go to the studio, then. Let me get these lyrics up. Let me see what's happening.'"
In 2010, West released his fifth studio album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, a critically acclaimed album that earned him four Grammy Awards, including Best Rap Album.