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Watch Kanye West freestyle as a teenager in 1996

- July 17th, 2014

Even before Kanye West was an uber successful artist, he was still Kanye West.

Arrogant, narcissistic, and full of incredible talent just waiting to be noticed, it’s a trip to see a young 19-year-old West lay it down in a dingy studio considering the lavish lifestyle he lives now.

The video below, which was recorded in August of 1996, shows off West participating in a free styling competition with other rappers from the Chicago area.

Warning: Video contains coarse language. Viewer discretion is advised.

According to Slate, the video was filmed in Fat Beats, an independent hip-hop record shop celebrating its successful move into a larger boutique closer to the city’s downtown core. At the time, West was just one of many rappers to come out and display their talents for anyone who cared to listen.

The minute and a half verse West spits is full of references to landmarks in Chicago, but most importantly, it’s full of typical Kanye West lines.

“But it’s not original cause I stole it from myself in the future,” is just one of the many lines West uses to reference his brilliance in the verse.

Slate also reported that while Fat Beats closed its retail doors in 2010, (after all, the death of record shops was imminent) the group still operates as a digital record label.

Hey, if they kickstarted the career of someone like Kanye West, they’ve got to have an eye for talent.

Missing out on Lollapalooza? Watch it here

- August 1st, 2013

If you are among the millions of music fans that are chapped over the fact that you’re missing out on Lollapalooza in Chicago this weekend, fear not.

The venerable music festival, which runs tomorrow (Aug. 2) through until Sunday, has just released its live webcast schedule, and it’s jam-packed with some damn fine acts. Friday, you can catch the likes of Queens of the Stone Age, the Killers and Nine Inch Nails. Saturday, you can tune in to see the Lumineers, the Postal Service and Mumford & Sons, while Sunday ends with Vampire Weekend, the Cure and Phoenix.

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And all of this for free. And we all know, free is good. The full sked of artists and times (which are all local), as well as the webcast can be seen at the bottom of this page. While you’re at it, feel free to comment on all the bands you’re taking in!

Enjoy! I know we will.

Friday

2:30pm – Smith Westerns
3:30pm – Icona Pop
4:15pm – Crystal Castles
5:15pm – Imagine Dragons
6:15pm – Queens of the Stone Age
7:30pm – Band of Horses
8:30pm – The Killers
10:00pm – Nine Inch Nails

Saturday

2:15pm – Ben Howard
3:00pm – Court Yard Hounds
4:00pm – Local Natives
5:00pm – Ellie Goulding
6:00pm – The National
7:15pm – The Lumineers
8:30pm – The Postal Service
10:00pm – Mumford & Sons

Sunday

2:30pm – Alex Clare
3:45pm – Wild Nothing
4:30pm – Two Door Cinema Club
5:30pm – Alt-J
6:30pm – Steve Aoki
7:00pm – Vampire Weekend
8:15pm – The Cure
10:15pm – Phoenix

Twitter: @johnwillms
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Pearl Jam books Canadian date

- January 23rd, 2013

Pearl Jam have booked two early dates in the 2013 calendar, and it includes one stop north of the border.

The Seattle rockers are playing London, Ontario’s Budweiser Gardens on July 16, as well as Chicago’s Wrigley Field on July 19. Both gigs are billed as “An Evening With Pearl Jam,” meaning you will probably have full PJ for 3 plus hours, with no opening act.

Tickets for both shows go on sale on February 9.

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The band, via its official website, promises an announcement in the coming months of more North American dates in the fall, which goes in line with a likely summer/fall drop date for their brand new album.

Pearl Jam sent out a few teaser tweets preceding the Chicago date announcement, that included a photo of a stage set up on what appears to be Wrigley Field with the two-word post “Looking good!” and the hashtag #StayTuned. It will mark the first time they’ve played the historic ballpark.

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