This video of a pre-College Dropout—and even pre-college enrollment—Kanye West was recently excavated from the archives of an iconic record store. A then-unknown Kanye performed at the 1996 opening of Fat Beats' 6th Avenue location, but his verse was stuck on an old 8mm tape until this week.
Radio host DJ Eclipse, formerly the manager of Fat Beats' New York store, sent the vintage Yeezy footage to Complex with this note:
Yesterday I started converting old Hi8 video tapes to DVD and came across some interesting footage from that day ... [W]hat took me by surprise was the appearance of this 19-year-old kid who at that time nobody knew. At least in NYC.
Kanye was just 19 at the time, a recent high school graduate about to start painting classes at the The American Academy of Art. The art school thing didn't really stick, but the rapping did, and the rest is beautiful dark twisted history.
If you couldn't tell this was the '90s just by looking, the Alanis Morissette punchline would be a dead giveaway.