[quote]Most Kanye West fans should know that he was a producer long before he started putting
out albums of his own, and a recently unearthed piece of hip-hop history
reminds us of that: A Kanye beat tape from 1997 recently surfaced
online and features 8 instrumental tracks from early in his career.
The beats were uploaded to SoundCloud by a user who goes by Trilly Madison,
and based on the track art, it appears the beats were ripped from a
cassette tape that was either first recorded, compiled, or given to
rappers for their consideration in September 1997. The uploader claims
to have purchased the tape on eBay on December 7, 2014 for $55. The
person who sold the tape to the uploader was based in Chantilly,
Virginia and wrote in the auction description:
For sale is a beat tape by the one and only Kanye West
from 1997. The tape contains 8 beats and an intro. As far as I know,
these have never been heard before. This was right before he started
producing for major labels and impregnating Kardashians.
I’m not sure how many of these beats (if any) saw an official
release. They’re fairly polished, some have bridges and breakdowns. I
found this in a producer’s collection of tapes and have no reason to
think this isn’t legit.
The eBay seller, user rod-key, recently provided more info about the origin of the tape, telling Genius that he bought the tape as part of a lot on eBay around 2012:
Someone was selling a group of tapes from a Miami record
exec who had died in the early 2000s. (I asked the seller for more info
about the person, but they had received it second hand from someone
else.) It was a hodge-podge of commercially released albums, promotional
snippet tapes, and a few hand-made demos. This one was obviously the
most interesting. When I saw a blurry Kanye Beat Sept ‘97’ label among
the other tapes it the auction picture, I decided to go all-in and set
my bid to $300. I won the lot for $27.
Users of the Kanye To The forum have identified
the origins of some tracks, revealing that some have been shared on
various bootleg collections over the years, and that two of them were
used on songs by Infamous Syndicate and Grav.
Listen to the tape, and the Infamous Syndicate and Grav songs, below.[/quote]