Before the Jesus pieces, the Grammys and the epic award show antics, Kanye West was just another beatsmith out of Chicago trying to get the little-known Kon Man Productions off the ground. Now, thanks to some spring-cleaning by Hype Men blogger and former Interscope rapper, Jensen Karp, we can all hear some of his earliest production work for the first time.
Karp explains CD’s discovery this way:
“Last week I was stumbling through my garage, searching through old storage bins, when I came across some old beat CDs from my days as a signed Interscope rapper. I was shocked to find that two of them, both given to me in 2001, had the name 'Kanye West' on them. These two beat CDs, now celebrating their 10 year anniversary and I believe the oldest Kanye beats ever released, are here for your enjoyment."
Yeezy’s first big production credit was on Jay-Z's The Dynasty Roc La Familia album in 2000 for the song "This Can't Be Life" ft. Beanie Sigel and Scarface, so if these tracks were actually made in '01, the college dropout would have already graduated from rookie status. Nonetheless, a full beat CD of raw Ye material from that far back doesn't come along very often.
Take a listen to the tracks over at DJ Booth. A fan at the forum KanyeToThe has compiled a list of where some of the beats ended up. It includes artists like Talib Kweli, Shawnna, Mos Def, Chicago's Geda K and others.
And there's more to come: The Hype Men say they will release "Disc 2" of the beats on April 4th.
(Photo: Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images)