40 years ago today, Kanye Omari West was born. Many years later he would come to be known as The College Dropout and in some religious circles, Yeezus.
In celebration of this holy holiday, Tim Westwood uploaded Kanye’s very first UK interview from January 2004. What a different Kanye we see here. Here, just two weeks before the release of his debut album, he’s so green, looking so happy to be there, looking soooo very different from the Kanye we’re now accustomed to.
If you’ve got 40 minutes to spare, watch the time capsule of an interview below:
So many time signifiers in the interview from 2004 that seem so funny and would be wildly out of place now. One, the accompaniment of one Dame Dash by Ye’s side. Kanye has always spoken very highly of the Roc-A-Fella co-founder, but when the iconic label broke up, we all now which way Kanye went.
When asked if he knew he could “rap that good” by Dame, Kanye says he didn’t even know. Modesty isn’t exactly something Kanye West is known for. Also keeping his cool isn’t really his thing either. In classic Tim Westwood fashion, the DJ ribs at the young rapper over his then-new single “Slow Jamz” and how small his name is printed on the record. I can’t really picture present Kanye keeping his cool through all of this without breaking into a little “HOW SWAY?”
In the interview, Kanye premieres “School Spirit” which he calls “the biggest record on the album” (HOW YE? We’ve all listened to this album 1000 times and the whole universe knows it’s forever “Jesus Walks“) and “Spaceship” which he says is “his favorite song on the album.” I might be with you on this one Kanye. So underappreciated (along with “Two Words.”)
And in eternal-Kanye fashion, he had an inspirational message for the kids. When asked about the concept behind The College Dropout he said, “It just means never be scared. If you got a dream and you wanna follow it, don’t let nobody tell you you can’t do what you doing. And figure out your plan before you do it.”
Thank you, Kanye. For the wise words from 13 years ago as well as the 40 years of magical music making/mad creative geniusing you’ve blessed us with.
Also, thank you for “Two Words.” We’re all better humans because of “Two Words.”