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Vintage Kanye West + John Legend Perform ‘Gold Digger’ in 2003 [VIDEO]

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We, the editors at PopCrush, are obsessed with rare, old-school footage of our favorite celebrities. There’s really nothing quite like seeing our faves before the glitz and glam overtakes them. So when a clip of Kanye West and John Legend performing an early version of “Gold Digger” hit the web today (March 10), we were all over it.

The clip was reportedly filmed way back in 2003, long before Kanye’s first album, The College Dropout, was released. Decked out in a Reese’s t-shirt, red snapback and a backpack, vintage Kanye is decidedly less fashion than he is today. But that’s not all — while the general melody of the track is structured the same way it appears on record, there are some pretty obvious differences from the final version of “Gold Digger.” The most obvious is the lack of Ray Charles’ “I Got a Woman” sample. The other is the inclusion of John Legend. And while he sounds amazing — proving that even in his infancy as a performer, John Legend was destined for greater things — it doesn’t quite fit the track the same way “I Got a Woman” does.

In fact, John’s piano lends a less playful vibe to the song than we’re used to. Kanye also proclaims the name of the song to be “18 Years.” It is worth noting, however, that the lyrics are more or less the same on the final version, which makes sense — if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Check out the video above to see “Gold Digger” at its earliest creation. Be warned, there is some NSFW language throughout the song.

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