Footage has emerged of Kanye West rapping as a teenager, showing off a more laidback flow in a now-defunct New York record store eight years before he released his landmark debut album The College Dropout.
West namechecks his hometown of Chicago and Alanis Morissette among other things in the verse, as other rappers look on seemingly pretty impressed.
Despite having always been a talented vocalist, West started out as a producer and struggled to be taken seriously as a rapper partly because he didn't fit the jersey-and-bucket-hat mould, something which he discussed at length on The College Dropout.
The video was taken in Fat Beats, which at the time was a hub for emerging hip hop talent.
"Yesterday I started converting old Hi8 video tapes to DVD and came across some interesting footage," the store's manager DJ Eclipse explained.
"Now we had a lot of the usual suspects in the place that day…But what took me by surprise was the appearance of this 19 year old kid who at that time nobody knew. Now I've had this person as a guest on my radio show years later, but it's pretty crazy to see this footage in '96 and think "damn, this dude was in my house then?" and not even know."
This young West would go on to receive 21 Grammy Awards and release seven albums, with an eighth currently in the works with his producer of choice Rick Rubin.Reuse content