Time Travel To ’96 & See Kanye West Rapping At Fat Beats In New York (Video)

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From the under belly of Hip-Hop history rises an unreleased video of a youthful, 19 year old Kanye West rapping at the grand opening of Fat Beats Record shop in New York City back in August of 1996.

The video comes just a few months before the release of fellow Chicagoan Grav’s album, Down To Earth. The project debuted a slew of Kanye’s first paid production credits including the beat for “City to City” in which the entrepreneurial Ye received $8,800 for his work. After buying himself a fat Ghostface Jesus piece and a few outfits from Polo, Kanye took off.

Before he was able to make it to New York again a year later, Kanye had to sell his chain to friend and producer No I.D. for a video shoot, but it would be in the Big Apple that Kanye was able to begin unleashing his art on the ears of dead prez, Harlem World, and Jermaine Dupri. However, this was just the beginning for a young West who would go on to produce for Jay-Z, Nas, Scarface, Ludacris, T.I., Talib Kweli, and more over the next five years and accomplish it all way before his debut album, The College Dropout, ever hit the shelves.

Here’s a tidbit from DJ Eclipse on the video, the day itself, and Kanye.

“The original location of Fat Beats launched on July 14, 1994 which means FB just turned 20 years old! Business was doing so well 2 years in that Joseph Abajian decided to move the store from it’s small 9th St. basement space into a 2nd floor location on 6th Avenue. August 1996 (day?) 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. Yesterday I started converting old Hi8 video tapes to DVD and came across some interesting footage from that day. 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.”

Source: NCB ’79 & Complex

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