Kid Tsu

Monday, November 4, 2013

Legend Spotlight - J Dilla

I was never originally a fan of J Dilla's music, but after a bit of study I realized what a super dope producer J was. He was an innovator and an originator. You can tell by how many producers try to emulate his style.

James Dewitt Yancey, son of Maureen 'Ma Dukes' Yancey from Detroit. Came up in the 90's producing for De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, Common, The Pharcyde, MF Doom, Frank N Dank and a whole bunch of others. The backbone of his group Slum Village. One of the world's most influential hip hop producers. Died in 2006 of a blood disease. Basically lived in his basement making beats and collecting records, after being taught how to use an MPC by soul artist Amp Fiddler. He was a special artist indeed. His sound was like no other, drums so clean, that swing!

So after a bit of study with my dude Oath One, I realized what it was that Dilla did to get that swing. Well he wasn't swinging his drums with the 'swing function'. He double timed the BPM. So a 90bpm track was set in the MPC at 180bpm, giving Dilla more spots to lay down his drums. So that swing was constructively placed in the sequence. As simple as it sounds, it is just one example of how Dilla thought outside the box to increase the usefulness of the MPC.

As a cool little way to end this piece, I'll show you a story about J Dilla's lost record collection, stumbled on by record store owner Jeff Bubeck.



J Dilla is a huge influence on what i do. I would like to think if you are a fan of J Dilla, you will also become a fan of Kid Tsunami. To hear an example of how J Dilla has influenced my music, check out http://kidtsunamimusic.com for some free downloads of what I do.

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