Watch Kanye West & John Legend Perform an Early Version of 'Gold Digger' Back in 2003
Kanye West's "Gold Digger" didn't hit the airwaves until September 2005, but according to a video that hit YouTube just this week, he was workshopping some of the song's most famous lines back in 2003 -- a year before his breakthrough College Dropout debut arrived. Not only that, but instead of Jamie Foxx doing his best Ray Charles impression on the track, this early version features fellow Chicagoan John Legend singing a wholly original chorus.
In the video, which is reportedly from the second annual Dynamic Producer Conference in New York, West is a literal backpack rapper, rocking a bright-orange Reese's Peanut Butter Cup T-shirt with clashing red hat. Legend is behind the piano, providing West with a beat, while he raps these familiar words: "18 years, 18 years/ She got one of your kids, got you for 18 years." Aside from the slower pace, that verse is pretty much exactly as it appears on his eventual Hot 100 No. 1 hit.
Watch the video below:
And check out the radio version for comparison: