Songwriter Jensen Karp says he found a lost "beat tape" from a pre-superstar Kanye West. The tape in question dates back to 2001, before his work on The Blueprint and The College Dropout. He's put the tape on YouTube for prosperity, along with its incredible backstory:
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…are the oldest Kanye beats ever released.
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.