As Kanye West and the unwinding saga of The Life of Pablo transfix pop-culture writ large, even the rapper's childhood exploits are starting to gain attention: New footage of 12 year-old West spitting a ferocious freestyle was uploaded to YouTube Saturday (Feb. 27), and it provides a glimpse of the precocious adolescent before he became Yeezus.
Watch the video above. Through the somewhat crackly and poorly-lit footage, we hear a well-honed voice and a vibrant swagger that'd be hard for any middle-schooler to match. The video was shot by Kanye's late mother, Donda West, in May of 1990 at what appears to be a birthday party or family gathering. 'Ye's trademark bravado is all there. He finishes the flow saying "nothing less could come from West," before turning away from the camera like an ice-cold MC.