‘Dilla Week’ continues as Toronto producer Marco Polo answers the question, “How did J Dilla change your life?” Even though Marco Polo isn’t known to crank out the most Dilla influenced beats, it is still interesting to see how much of an impact Jay Dee made on all forms of hip-hop.
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I heard the music before I knew that Jay Dee (and later J Dilla) was behind it. “Stakes is High”, “Runnin” and the joints he did on “Beats Rhymes & Life” we’re some of his first productions I heard. Those are classics to me. But, it wasn’t until Slum Village “Fantastic Vol 2” and all the prior SV bootlegs that I really started to know & hear about Jay Dee. “Fantastic Vol. 2” and “Welcome to Detroit” really changed the production game for a lot of producers, especially from my era. I know I’m guilty of making a few Dilla influenced beats which is never a smart move. YOU WILL FAIL!!! hahaha.
Regardless, he brought a new energy to beat making and producing. He definitely influenced how I approach sampling and drum programming. One of things I loved was how raw his drums were. I have some of the breaks he’s sampled and trust me they don’t sound that big in there original form. He understood recording and meshing sounds together in a way that put him in his own class forever. You can’t be taught those type of things, you just have it or you don’t. He had that shit in his blood.
He’s definitely inspired me to push harder at trying different things and thinking outside of the box. When he passed I felt like a lost a close friend without the honor of ever meeting him in person. His music is attached to so many GREAT memories in my life. You know someone’s made an impact musically when you can site the exact time & place you first heard their song. Dilla did that to me many times. I can only dream of leaving that type of impact in Hip Hop & music.
RIP Jay Dee aka J Dilla.
Top 10 (no particular order):
De La Soul “Stakes is High”
Slum Village “Fall In Love”
Slum Village “Untitled/Fantastic”
Phat Kat “Don’t Nobody Care About Us” (that whole 12” was a classic.)
Spacek f. Frank & Dank “Eve (Jay Dee Mix)”
J-88 “Look of Love”
Jay Dee “Make Em Envy”
Jay Dee f. Frank & Dank “Pause”
Jay Dee “Fuck the Police”