Watch Rhymefest Rap the First Verse of Kanye West's "Jesus Walks" Before the Song's Release

Fest spits this verse with conviction, knowing how big it would eventually become.

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Complex Original

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"Jesus Walks" is one of Kanye West's biggest songs. A single off Kanye's debut album, College Dropout, the song would go on to win a Grammy Award for Best Rap Song. Along with Kanye West, Chicago's Rhymefest received an award for his writing contributions to the song. It is a well-known fact that Rhymefest has been one of many contributors to Kanye's music throughout the years. Despite only making a vocal appearance on the UK edition of Late Registration, he has even received writing credits on Kanye's most recent work, Yeezus.

During an appearance on the Halftime Radio Show prior to College Dropout being released, Rhymefest was asked to rap on air, as most artists are asked to do. What's notable about this performance is that Rhymefest delivered what would become the first verse off of "Jesus Walks." He spits this verse with the conviction of knowing how impressive it was. It is a breathtaking sight to hear a classic song in its beginning stages.

Meanwhile, the Halftime Show is celebrating its fifteenth anniversary tonight, with DJ sets from DJ Eclipse, DJ Riz, Stretch Armstrong, and DJ Premier. Below is a flyer for the event. Along with Rhymefest's historic freestyle, the video contains clips of other freestyle sessions, cameos from Royce da 5'9" and Alchemist, among others, and interviews with Eclipse, Riz, and Armstrong discussing the impact of WNYU and college radio in general on New York City's hip-hop scene.

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