Remember when Kanye was a kid from Chicago and not the human-selfie? Well, there's video evidence of such a time, specifically of Ye dropping a verse at the 1996 opening of the Fat Beats record shop on 6th Avenue, a home for the underground rap scene of the time. DJ Eclipse, the former general manager of the New York store (which closed in 2010), reached out to Complex to share the unearthed footage and his memories of the time:
It was also the beginnings of our independent movement which had recently started bubbling about a year before... Now we had a lot of the usual suspects in the place that day such as ILL BILL, Arsonists, Lord Finesse, Adagio, Breeze Brewin, A.L. Skills, Percee P, J-Live, Mr. Live, Chino XL, Al Tariq, Black Attack, Xzibit, Shabaam Sahdeeq, Rawcotiks, Ak Skills, Rob Swift, Roc Raida, DJ Spinna and many, many more. But what took me by surprise was the appearance of this 19-year-old kid who at that time nobody knew. At least in NYC.
This 19-year-old West looks earnest and hopeful with on-point concentration burning in his eyes as he drops some grin-worthy rhymes, including an Alanis Morissette reference and a nod to the Yeezus he would become: "It ain't original because I stole it from the future." Watch the verse from the past above, and check out SPIN's illustrations of Kanye's wildest self-comparisons to see how far (he at least thinks) he has come.