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This Unreleased, Hour-Long Kanye Interview From 2002 Shows He Was Kind Of Like Us

By 10.26.13

People aren’t tired of Kanye West interviews yet because he’s making up for years of avoiding press. Except this isn’t the modern Ye set to intimidate the sh*t out of interviewers. We head back to a time when Yeezus went by Kanye “Tidda.” Kanye, then often credited as “Kane West,” sat down with MTV’s You Hear It First in 2002 and the channel recently let their uncut version loose on the web.

These simpler times where multiple-XL clothes, Black Planet and soul samples ruled showed Kanye in a far more homely light. He stood right at the cusp of solo success despite uncertainty surrounding his angle. He carried himself awkwardly, loved Hip-Hop and also came off as a try hard in his rapping. So, aside from Roc-A-Fella’s massive opportunity, his sentiments still aligned with everyday rap fans, much like those seen daily on TSS.

Everybody is trying to separate now and say that you’re not Hip-Hop because you go out and buy some jewelry. No, having jewelry is not a basis of hio-hop. Look at Rakim, look at Run DMC. You’re trying to tell me they’re not Hip-Hop? You’re trying to tell me, because Mos Def and Kweli don’t buy jewelry, that they are more Hip-Hop than Jay Z or what’s ‘Real Hip-Hop?’

Whatever happened to real life? Whatever happened to, ‘umm, you know what girl? I can’t afford this movie so we gotta go dutch. I know I got jewelry on and everything…’ Whatever happened to, ‘You know I was in the club and I didn’t really get no girls. Like four girls dissed me.’ But I guess that’s anti Hip-Hop right? Because Hip-Hop was always about frontin’…I feel like that’s the black mentality anyway because since we never had nothing, if we get a little something we have to show it to prove something. It’s almost like the concept of walking into a store and you look like a shoplifter unless you got something on. You feel like you gotta wear jewelry just to get the same service. I say it in a rap, ‘getting green makes you almost white.’

I’m trying to give back. I want Q-Tip to hear my shit and say, ‘Dog, I could listen to this album everyday.’ I want to give back to when I used to listen to Mobb Deep’s album on the train with my headphones on and that’s what made the train ride feel like I was in a Benz because I had that album…It didn’t matter what car I was in, if I was in the street, walking in the rain, it didn’t matter because I had my headphones on. I had that Hip-Hop in my ear.

I feel like, if I do what I’m supposed to do, people are going to look back like, ‘Man, remember dude that used to make beats for people?’ I’m trying to get to the point where I can drop my last name off my name, you know what I’m saying? I don’t want to jinx myself but I want to take this opportunity. I got some stuff in my heart that the world needs to hear…

Then his producing, drive, serendipity and a great deal of help held him down for over a decade. Now he’s at the forefront of rap music, like it or not, and about to marry Kim Kardashian with no f*cks given about a body count.

Heads also opine about “Old Ye” and how he’s gone for good. Well now they have a nearly hour long run of “Old Ye” in the making at Baseline Studios. Young Guru also made a cameo as Kanye hilariously stumbled through his studio session at the end. Then again there’s something likeable about Ye expressing himself before crossing paths with Coldplay and leather jogging pants.

Clear evidence shows he obviously changed and I gave up on the “but he was always an this much of an asshole” angle. Some type of transformation must be expected across the board, though. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who’s exactly the same as their vivrant selves 11 years prior.


TOPICS#Kanye West
TAGSBaseline StudiosMTVSMOKE BREAKSpotlightVIDEOSYOUNG GURU

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