How soon some forget that as much as Kanye West has been on his grind as a producer from the late ’90s to early ’00s mirrors his vocal journey as a rapper and even his venture into the world of fashion. One thing that has always undeniably remained consistent is his work — whether it be his work in production, emceeing, or designing — is his passion. The same could be said for John Legend (seemingly right after he was given the name “Legend” from J. Ivy), who’s also featured in the 2002 video from the 2nd Annual Dynamic Producer Conference in New York City.
The two are performing “18 Years,” a demo of what would become “Gold Digger” from Yeezy’s sophomore album, Late Registration. Just in case you were unaware, “Gold Digger” was 2005’s second-longest running number one on the Billboard Hot 100, Grammy winner for Best Solo Performance (2006), listed at number 49 on Billboard magazine’s All Time Top 100 and at 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 Songs of the Decade.
Nonetheless, the duo put on a remarkable performance of the track — with John Legend on sound (the piano) and Kanye West on the mic. Surely the crowd could feel the potential of the performers. That, or they could relate to having illegitimate illegitimate children and finding out “18 years” later. Either way, enjoy the show.
–Jamaal Fisher (@jamaalfisher)