Kanye West as 8 year old in China

A user on the Rapgenius forum uploaded this photo of rap producer Kanye West at age 8 in China.

According to In Touch Weekly, Kanye’s late mother, Donda West, taught in Nanjing as a Fullbright Scholar.

The fan forum user who calls himself Frak explained the story behind the photo:

My dad is an astronomy professor, and we just had dinner with his astronomy advisor from Harvard. He asked what I was into and I told him about my ventures into hip-hop (I’m a rapper/producer). He asked if I knew about Kanye West, and obviously being a Ye stan I kept my cool and told him yes. He then told me that him and Donda West were good friends and co-teachers in China, and he got to spend a great deal of time playing with Kanye as a kid. Out of nowhere he whips out this picture and my jaw-drops. He said Kanye was a really sweet kid who wasn’t afraid to speak to adults and ask questions.

In a 2011 interview with the Sabotage Times, Kanye said living in China helped prepare him for life in the limelight.

“I think being in China got me ready to be a celeb because, at that time, a lot of Chinese [people] had never seen a black person,” he explained. “They would always come up and also stare at me, fishbowl me and everything. And that’s kind of the way it is for me right now.

In an appearance on his future mother in law’s defunct talk show, Kanye said “people should want to go on vacation or just want to travel because that’s what opens people’s minds.”