Kanye West‘s early days as a struggling producer are built into the hip-hop superstar’s lore and form much of his underdog backstory. Now, an eight-track beat tape purportedly of Kanye beats from 1997 has resurfaced, uploaded to Soundcloud by a user named Trilly Madison. The tape offers another glimpse into who ‘Ye was musically before he became a hitmaker for Roc-A-Fella Records and before he dropped The College Dropout and became a superstar.
The beats are inventive, even for very early in Kanye’s career, foreshadowing the kind of musicality and the ear for melody, two hallmarks that would make him one of hip-hop’s’ most in-demand producers in the early 2000s. During that period, he was behind the boards for major tracks for everyone from Scarface to Beanie Sigel and, most notably, Jay Z.
According to KanyeToThe, two of the beats included would resurface later: one on Grav song and another one is “What You Do To Me,” from Infamous Syndicate’s Changing The Game album.
Weeks ago, TMZ reported that Hungarian composer Gabor Presser is suing Yeezy for sampling his song for “New Slaves” without his permission. In his suit, Presser claims that West asked him permission to use his song with the understanding that a formal deal would be presented.