Back in 2004, Kanye West had already made an indelible mark on the hip-hop world by producing the best tracks on Jay-Z’s watershed 2001 album The Blueprint.
He had also scored production credits on a number of major hits, including Talib Kweli’s “Get By” and Fabolous’ “My Life.” But he had not yet scored ample time on the microphone (at least in public), and was still trying to put some buzz behind his debut album The College Dropout.
So what did ‘Ye do? He paid a visit to Def Poetry Jam, the Mos Def-hosted show that aired for several years on HBO, and spit out a poem called “Self-Conscious.” In the clip below, you can hear Mos (or whatever he’s calling himself now) declare Kanye “the future of hip-hop,” and if you listen to the lyrics, you can hear the genesis “All Falls Down,” which became a bona fide hit for West nearly a year later. READ FULL STORY