But according to a newly unearthed video of a 19-year-old Kanye West performing in his native Chicago, he was already on his way in 1996.
“I never been tookin’ out / I got emcees lookin’ out,” raps the nascent Louis Vuitton Don, sporting the kind of tucked-in polo ensemble that became the sartorial signature of his earlier days.
The NYC-flavored jam definitely fits the era, and West had seemingly yet to nail down a musical identity. Yet, as we recently learned in another vintage video, it would be eight years (if not sooner) before ‘Ye started infusing into his verses the Chicago-style consciousness that colored his 2004 debut The College Dropout.
But enough with the talking — watch the video for yourself below, and let us know what you think of Junior Yeezy: