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Kanye West has grown to become a global icon, but long before the Grammy Awards and accolades, he was just a kid from Chicago with a passion for music and hopes to impact the Hip-Hop. That said, Complex takes viewers down memory lane with footage of the producer/rapper that dates back to 1996.

A then 19-year-old West traveled to New York City to attend the Fat Beats’ opening party at the 6th Avenue store, where he eventually performed. The clip may surprise fans who aren’t privy to his pre-Roc-A-Fella affiliations. But beneath the glitz, glamour, and famous spouses lies a true Hip-Hop nerd

Former store manager DJ Eclipse is responsible for the video. Here’s what he had to say about it:

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. At least in NYC.

See Kanye West in the vid below.

Photo: YouTube