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When I first heard J Dilla's Music (What inspired me)


I remember when I first heard Dilla From listening to a NBA live 2001 soundtrack when it came out on PS2 along with the actual game. This is when the PS2 was just new on the market. The record was called "The Light" by Common. I happened to be only 8 years old at the time when that song was released. I played the whole DVD at least 1,000 times and loved every song off that soundtrack but it was something about that song "the light" that made it special. This has influenced me to want to produce music for highlight reels, movies and tv shows. Yet at the time, I knew nothing about sampling and producing at all but that record changed my life as a musician and a lover of music. So I asked my mom if she could buy me the album "Like Water for chocolate" By Common. which is in my opinion one of my favorite hip hop albums ever. I was only 8, and in the 3rd grade I believe. But through all of that, I didn't know it was Dilla making the beats until a year before Dilla Passed in 06'. My older cousin went to Michael Jordan Basketball camp with me that summer and when we were driving back home from LA preparing to leave to Santa Barbara the next day for camp, mainly during the ride back, I asked him, "man you got anything you're working on." He replied, "Yeah, here u go." He's a known producer and He let me listen to a mix cd of his unreleased material and he told me "Don't let nobody listen" and I said okay. Because he was working on his first solo album. But he told me, "It is three Dilla cuts on there u can download from the cd." I was like "Who's Dilla?" He gave me this weird look. Like "how are you gonna like hip hop, be from Detroit and be a musician but don't know who Dilla is." Of course I got a lot of Jokes for it. I've been so used to listening to gospel and soundtrack hip hop albums that I didn't study the Hip Hop side as much Until I played the cd that he gave me with a mixture of his beats and Jay Dee beats that inspired his solo album. I was more inspired by my cousins way of producing that I played the CD just to press play on his unreleased material Not realizing I stumbled across this song on the cd. And it was titled "Word Play" by A Tribe Called Quest. I Didn't hear the song before, yet the song came out from the "Beats Rhymes,Life" album in 96 I believe. And I heard that beat and I was like..."omg! Who the f*** is that ?!" "Who made this beat!" I remember playing that beat over 1,000 times. And Living in California at the time and preparing to leave for camp the next day and listening to that song riding back home late at night, put me in a different place. And my cousin was like "That's Dilla Foo!" I was like bruh! U gotta give me every cd of Dilla you have ! So for some reason I already knew about "Slum Village" who is originally from my hometown, Detroit. I heard them first when they put out a album called "Trinity (Past, Present & Future)" and I fell in love with the song titled "Tainted". But my cousin was like, "Naw fam, you gotta listen to the fantastic albums. Both vol.1 & Vol.2. He played me a track from Vol.2 which was titled "Go Ladies" where Dilla changed the beat up and it went from 4 on the floor to like a downbeat continuation groove that had heavy claps in it. And I was like "Dude!!" And From there on out. I just became a diehard fan of Dilla. Around this time I was sophomore in HS going into my Junior year. It's just the music like that influences your decision making, your mood, the feeling. Just the overall feeling made me a better musician at the time. In high school my first job was playing gigs every first and 2nd Fridays and all we did was play Dilla covers. Just a lot I can say on how much his music impacted my day to day life as a teenager. I'm glad I was able to say I was a big fan before he died. Even after he died. Which sucks to say because a lot of people only wanted to work with Dilla After he died. But I was a teenager not really in the actual record business yet (Which was my freshmen year in HS). Nevertheless, I played his music every day my sophomore year and all of high school. From the slum village albums to the Que.D Tapes, Jaylib, all of tribe. Etc. & Fantastic vol.2 & "Welcome to Detroit" solo project to "Donuts" that influences a lot of my sound choices in my albums such as "Fool to care" when I used a drum looped inspired by "T3's Pregnant" in slum village fantastic vol.1., To the chord changes in "African Savage", "The Questions" joint I did with Soul official on our HS graduation project titled "Love & Everything that goes with it." To my recent Video that is out now "Harmful November" which came from me listening to the fantastic Vol.2 constantly and from my favorite beat in my opinion that Dilla did for Busta Rhymes back in the 90s titled "the Shining". This guy Dilla inspired me so much. Especially when it came to this dudes approach to making a beat and how he produced a song was so unique and different, that u had no choice to rock to everything he put out. And when I found out one of my Popp's members from years ago gave me two mix cds of Dilla beats. That's when I really went crazy. High school was a breeze because of that inspiration. That's how much of a influence Dilla's music had on me as a teenager to present. Long story but thought I share my story on how Dilla became my favorite producer all time. RIP dude ! Your music lives on forever !  


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