Watch a 19-Year-Old Kanye West Rap at a Fat Beats Record Store in 1996


In 1996, Fat Beats opened up a record shop on 6th Avenue in New York City, and to celebrate the launch, a bunch of rappers came through to perform. At the time, a 19-year-old Chicago kid named Kanye West wasn’t one of the big draws. They had Lord Finesse, Ill Bill, J-Live, Chino XL, Xzibit, and a few other rappers who had already made a name for themselves and were known in New York.

Going back through the footage of the night, Fat Beats manager DJ Eclipse realized what he had and sent the video to Complex. It’s a teenage Kanye rapping in ’96, dropping lines like, “Tryin’ to flex technique you gettin’ blast with a tec / That shit is mad ironic like Alanis Morissette.”

Watch the video above, and read more at Complex.


  • Steve ALMIGHTY

    Percee P’s looking at Kanye, thinking, “I’ll be god damned if this kid gets on before I do.”

  • Mick Marx

    put it on file, document it in the books/ you niggas can’t see me so cease the hard looks!

  • Deante D Lamar Young

    “stole it from the future”

  • Kroniq

    So hungry. Much earnest. Old jaw.

  • Guest

    flow had me like damn

  • Jarrett Abello

    Spitting flames.. youngin had a raw flow.

  • staminak

    flambeed it

  • common sense

    chitown nigga with a NaS flow

    / big L flow

  • Ethos

    I was just thinking the same thing. Reminds me a lot of Big L. Good shit.

  • Loveandalchemy

    Ironically, this’ll probably be the best set of bars released in 2014

  • John Hanekamp


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