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Video from 1996: Kanye West Freestyle in a Record Store

The year is 1996, I was 12 years old, Bill Clinton was in office, Tupac was getting shot, and I was terrified of possibly contracting mad cow disease. Back in 96, I didn’t even know how to type on a computer and Sandra Bullock had already spread fear about the internet being a dangerous digital landscape in the action/crime/drama, The Net. Life was a hell of a lot different back then, especially for everyone’s favorite person and self-proclaimed godsend, Kanye West.

The original location of Fat Beats opened its doors almost exactly 20 years ago, back on July 14th, 1994. The store did so well within that two years that Joseph Abajian decided to move the store from it’s small 9th St. basement space into a 2nd floor location on 6th Avenue. The grand opening of the 6th Avenue location happened sometime in August of 1996 DJ Eclipse just happened to convert some old tapes and find this video of Kanye. Some other usual suspects were in attendance 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. – DJ Eclipse

He promises that there will be more to come….

By: Pat Hanavan

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