And Now For a Young Kanye West Rapping in 1998

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If Chicago rapper Cap 1 thought that distributing a video of himself rhyming with an unknown 21-year-old named Kanye West in 1998 might be a solid promotional stunt to drum up interest in his forthcoming mixtape Caviar Dreams, he was wildly, stupidly correct.

So, bask in this glowing slice of archival gold; watch as an equally fresh-faced Cap passes the mic to his friend Kanye and strap yourself in as that grainy moment emerges as a suitable metaphor for the massive, gnawing gap that would soon enough emerge between these two innocent youths—in glory, in fame, in lifestyle, in skill. Can you sense it in the video, that quavering fissure? The College Dropout , West's solo debut, was still six years away—and in those six years, a lifetime of opportunities both grasped and slipped away.

Anyway, here's the clip, via the AV Club. 2 Chainz also shows up. If you want to see a photo of Kanye West hanging out in China at the ripe age of 10, you may do so at this link.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.