In a newly released uncut MTV interview with Kanye West, many of the traits we're now very familiar with were already apparent back then.
The video, which was shared Friday by BuzzFeed, sees West before he was famous, before he was a father and before the release of his debut album,The College Dropout.
The interview is from 2002, when West's profile within hip-hop circles was mostly as a producer for the likes of JAY Z (when he still had a hyphen in his name) and Janet Jackson. But despite his low name recognition, a young Yeezy was already envisioning his dreams becoming a reality, openly discussing the idea of surpassing rap greats and surprising critics.
Having not yet released a single album, West still boldly proclaimed in the interview that he would "bridge the gap in hip-hop."
At one point in the interview, West says: "I feel like everything that anybody ever said in life would be a disadvantage to me, Imma make it my advantage. When I was playing basketball, everybody said I was too short. I'm killing them with the scoops. Everybody says, 'you can't rap because you're a producer.' ... Imma use everything that everybody says that I can't do and Imma flip it to the positive." (Was this in 2002 or 2013?)
Watch the hour-long interview below and it'll confirm that the glorified Yeezus of today was still as eager and inspired as a The College Dropout.