Video: Kanye West’s Surprise Late Registration Listening Session [Unreleased]

Andrew Barber

If you would’ve told me that at one point Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, No ID, Shawnna, DJ Pharris, Mikkey Halsted, Don C, Boogz, SC, Really Doe, Malik Yuself, Kaye Fox, Rico Nance, Tone & Shag, Newsense and Leon Rogers were all in the same room at the same time, I would’ve looked at you and responded “you need more people…”

That was not the case back in the Summer of 2005, a month or two prior to the release of Kanye’s sophomore album, Late Registration.  On said summer night, Miller Genuine Draft and Power 92 held a freestyle battle/showcase at the Park West in Lincoln Park.  Shawnna hosted the event which featured local talent including Mikkey Halsted, Miss Criss and Kaye Fox performing for the crowd.  The event was running as scheduled until Kanye West, who had just wrapped his album, stormed the stage and turned this party into a listening session for Late Registration.  The audience, stunned and surprised, was treated to Late Registration before the world – or even critics – got a taste of it.  In this clip you can hear tracks such as “Gold Digger” being played for the very first time.  Hell, ‘Ye even had Lupe on stage for the premiere of “Touch The Sky”.  Kanye gave a track by track rundown of the album, and even took questions from the audience.  Talk about a bonus for all of the people in attendance who thought the only treat they’d get for the night was free MGD.

So yes, as recent as five years ago, Kanye West would pop up at a local event and stunt out for the people of Chicago.  Before the days of listening sessions featuring a truckload of nude models surrounded by expensive candles in plush Hollywood mansions, Ye would play his album for the people – the average joe.  Not that I would mind nude models, but you get the idea.  I don’t foresee something like this happening ever again, but it’s nice to look back and reflect on some of Chicago’s best and brightest before they became full-fledged superstars.

Something else special about this clip is that this was before the days of going to an event where everyone in the house is filming, taking pictures, “doing media” or Tweeting (everything except actually watching the show).  Moments like these could happen and no one would really know about it outside of the circle of people who were actually there.  Amazing, really.  Imagine “Kanye West doing a surprise listening session at the Park West NOW” hitting Twitter on any given Thursday night in Chicago. You’d have to call the damn riot squad.

Shouts to Boogz for blessing the world with this.

Bring back the MGD nights!


  • Show Comments (11)

  • Agacee

    Me an Gutta was there…I had authentic BAPES str8 from the SoHo shop in NY…the listening party was DOPE…

  • dawreck

    thats what we missing! enough of the big i little u syndrome
    chi town unite!

  • realizme

    check out Realizme Recording artist FLII STYLZ new track (E) right here —>>>

  • Drkr[img]

    Chi-town unite my ass. Y’all are bold face liars

  • J4

    Drewski I coordinated the MC Battles for Miller/Power 92 back then. Mic Terror and Wiz were in the battle. that night This event was the finals. Wiz and Mic Terror were both killing dudes.

  • dawreck

    @realizeme checked out the song thats some in the club drunk as fuc chit right there!

  • Charlie Breeze

    I was at that shit! It was crackin’!!! I was doing promo work for MGD back then……

  • Charlie Breeze

    Back in 05′ was a time where ALL CHICAGO ARTISTS had a focus to put the crib on the map….. But it was moreso unity where everybody was puttin’ on for the city. Now more than ever it just seems like every artist is out for self!

  • dawreck

    i agree

  • pocket science

    Damn right, gotta look out for self…true but every man needs a team
    so build your machine, I’m always here to network…oh peep my Dude
    Deka Derse in the beginning standing outside in the background of
    No ID. He is also a Beast at Tracks…On my Momma! I seen “SC”
    ya’ll already Know the science?
    Nigga’s Amp Kanye Made his self Famous
    and is really on his Mc Hammer shit…I’m not praying for him to fall off!!! Lol.

  • fatboi

    I remembered me n mic terror battled at that shit I’ll admit I was extra spooked cause the killed the dude before me wit 2 bars.

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