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In what is the ultimate “Flash Back Friday” treat, video footage has emerged of a very green Kanye West rapping a verse at the 1996 opening of the Fat Beats record store in New York, then a hub for underground talent.
The video was posted by Complex after DJ Eclipse, the former general manager of the New York store which shut its doors in 2010, reached out to the publication with the unearthed footage. “August 1996…was the grand opening of the 406 6th Avenue location. It was also the beginnings of our independent movement which had recently started bubbling about a year before,” wrote DJ Eclipse.
“Yesterday I started converting old Hi8 video tapes to DVD and came across some interesting footage from that day,” he continued. “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.”
Young Yeezy can been seen in the clip grinning and rapping about his stellar technique, living in Chicago and dropping rhymes about ’90s it-girl Alanis Morissette. The young MC even alludes to the Kanye that will come with the line, “It ain’t original because I stole it from the future.”
Just this week more footage of Kanye in his younger years emerged in the form of an un-aired reality television show pilot. In the clip, Yeezy circa 2010 explains on camera the cunning tactics he employs to avoid fans who “say really stupid stuff” to him.
Watch: Kanye West at Fat Beats Aug 1996