Even back then, the Chicago emcee was better than a lot of the well-known acts even rapping then. Above shows a young Kanye in the making, delivering bars during the grand opening of a new Fat Beats store in NYC back in 1996. The footage comes courtesy of DJ Eclipse, who broke down the atmosphere perfectly:
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. Now I’ve had this person as a guest on my radio show years later, but it’s pretty crazy to see this footage in ’96 and think “damn, this dude was in my house then?” and not even know.