Kanye West was once a gangsta rapper from Chicago before he released his groundbreaking debut album The College Dropout.
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the rapper’s first full-length release, producer No I.D. decided to tell some tales about West’s early days. New or casual fans who don’t know much about the rapper probably aren’t overly familiar of Kanye’s stint in the world of gangsta rap.
Before a car crash prompted Kanye West to reevaluate what he wanted to do with his career, the rapper was running with a group called The Go-Getters. Since the guys considered themselves gangsta, West did his best to fashion a tougher persona.
“His goal was to be [as] tough as possible. Some of it was over compensation for the fact that he wasn’t a street guy at all and he felt like people wouldn’t respect him it if it was not tough. The gangsta rap came when he was in the group, The Go-Getters. The group were street, so he tried to keep up with them,” the producer explained.
He added, “I remember when I first talked to him after the accident, and his mouth was all messed up. He was like, ‘I figured it out. I’m going to rap about this accident. I’m going to use a song and change the direction. I’m going conscious with my music.'”
Although West definitely grew as an artist over the years, the rapper’s prediction about his relationship with the public didn’t pan out as he’d hope. According to MTV News, Kanye West said back in 2004 that he didn’t want to become the sort of artist who complains about big corporations and record labels. Whoops!
“The way I’m acting right now as a new artist, I’m not gonna be like this [in the future],” he continued. “I’m gonna be like [Dr. Dre] in a few years. If you interview Dre, he be like, ‘Yo, I’m rich I have nothing to say to you.’ I have everything to say because there’s so many doubters and I’m talking s***, but I realize that I will grow,” West explained. So much for that.
If you’re looking to properly celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Kanye West’s The College Dropout, then you might want to spend some time checking out his demo tape The Prerequisite. Although you can download the tracks for free, you can always give the album a listen on YouTube beforehand.
Are you a fan of Kanye West? Are you surprised he started out as a gangsta rapper before delivering The College Dropout?
[Image via Wikimedia Commons]