Watch a 21-Year-Old Kanye West at Jermaine Dupri's 1998 Birthday Party - Rolling Stone
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Watch a 21-Year-Old Kanye West at Jermaine Dupri’s 1998 Birthday Party

Six years before ‘College Dropout,’ a superstar takes his first steps

This clip has made its way around the Internet for a little while, but with Kanye West looking back on the 10th anniversary of his landmark debut The College Dropout, we thought it'd be appropriate to resurrect it.

Six years before the release of Dropout, the for-hire producer was in the studio with Nas and R&B singer Carl Thomas working on "You Made Me," a 1999 track off Harlem World's The Movement. Founded by Mase, Harlem World was a Jermaine Dupri-affiliated group whose members included Mase's sister and brother and Diddy's cousin. And while they didn't exactly change the hip-hop landscape, they provided Kanye with one of his first production opportunities.

The clip above shows a 21-year-old Kanye West giving an interview with Mase at Jermaine Dupri's birthday party in 1998. He's skinnier. He has glasses. But the confidence that would come to define the superstar has always been there.



In This Article: Kanye West


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