Kanye West First Beats

Kanye West <i>First Beats</i>
While Kanye West's rise to superstar status means he produces very little of his music now, the hip-hop heavyweight started of as an unsigned beat-maker in Chicago. Former Interscope signee and member of Los Angeles duo the Hype Men Jensen Karp brings us back to those humble beginnings with a mixtape of Kanye's first 26 beats.

Karp explains the find on his blog:

Last week I was stumbling through my garage, searching through old storage bins, when I came across some old beat CDs from my days as a signed Interscope rapper. I was shocked to find that two of them, both given to me in '01, had the name Kanye West on them. These two CDs, which I believe are the oldest Kanye beats ever released, now celebrate their 10 year anniversary.

 I think this collection of early Kanye beats shows you where he came from, even if it doesn't necessarily sound like 'Kanye' now. He kept at it and became the incredible producer he is today. I remember he even had to leave the studio sessions early, so he could make the last train back to his mom's house. He's come a long way, and I'm proud to have been around, even if for just a second at the start.

The 26 beats definitely make for an interesting listen, as they foreshadow the soul-infused boom bap Kanye brought to Jay-Z's The Blueprint and other early productions. The whole beat tape can be streamed here courtesy of DJ Booth, with a second batch of beats set to drop on April 4.

Thanks to Prefix for the tip.