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Regardless to what most people think, Jay Z wasn’t an overnight success story by any stretch. He started from the bottom and made it to the top only after years of establishing a reputation in the underground rap scene.

DJ Rhude went digging in his crates and re-released a compilation of Jigga records that prove that while the artist known as Jay Z won the world over with his commercial friendly radio cuts, the man born Shawn Carter had the streets on lock way before receiving any sort of mainstream awards, plaques, or accolades for his musical talent.

Jay Z: B.C. – Before roCafella is filled with the mixtapes cuts like “Nothing But Love” and “Love Is Love” which reminds everyone that Jay used to “Rap like the Fu-Schnickens” and the street favorite “Dead or Alive Pt. 1” where Hov had a classy response to Pac calling him out before his untimely death.

This static filled audio compilation will remind fans just how far Jay Z has come, how amazing mixtape cassettes were in an era where Hip-Hoppers had to wait weeks or months for their favorite rapper’s latest music, and wondering when did Sauce Money stop being Jay’s right hand man?

Photo: AP Photo