Pete Rock Receives The First Annual J Dilla Imhotep Award From Ma Dukes (Video)
Last night (February 5), the first annual J Dilla Imhotep Award was presented at J Dilla Weekend Festival in Miami, Florida. The event is hosted and partially organized by J Dilla’s mother, Maureen “Ma Dukes” Yancey. Just five days before the 10th anniversary of her son’s untimely death, Ma Duke’s kept his legacy alive in presenting the award to a J Dilla influence, friend, and collaborator.
Explaining the purpose of the award, Ma Dukes told crowd-goers, “This award will go to someone who is fearless, who loves you and music, who understands all of our feelings: good, bad, and otherwise, and has struggled to keep Hip-Hop alive. [J] Dilla was a master at what he did. So the first award has to go to a master. So a master will be someone who is a master builder.” Pointedly, the award was given to “True Master” Pete Rock, who was on stage to receive the specially-made trophy.
In the background of the video captured by Ambrosia For Heads, 9th Wonder declared, “That’s Hip-Hop!” Beside him, Jay Electronica added “That’s Rap!” Jay and 9th were two of the Friday night event headliners.
Receiving the custom trophy, Pete Rock started in thanking a mentor, relative, and collaborative of his. “Rest in peace Heavy D, thank you. This one’s for you. R.I.P. J Dilla.” With the crowd, the Mount Vernon, New Yorker reflected on his and Jay Dee’s relationship. “I spent a whole with Dilla in his crib—brought some records from New York to his house that he didn’t know about. He was pullin’ out shit that I didn’t know about. We shared a lot of stuff together, like that and made beats and songs together. I miss him very much. He was a real humble and real nice dude.”
Pete Rock remembered the low-key environment of the producer/MC/DJs/drummers together. “He let me sleep on his couch all week. He told me how to use his records and make beats with [them] and stuff. I was definitely going through his lil’ cubicle of albums and saw some shit that I was buggin’ out askin’ him about. He started whoopin’ out ’80s records on me and was fuckin’ my head up.” The pair worked together on “Once Upon A Time” from Slum Village’s acclaimed Fantastic, Vol. 2—a song Rock would also remix separately. They would also work together on “Remember” and “Niggaz Know.”
Continuing, Pete said, “He was definitely a master. I definitely miss J Dilla. R.I.P., man! R.I.P. Thank y’all, Miami.” The artist, who paid tribute to Jay Dee with “Dilla Bounce (R.I.P.)” on his Petestrumentals 2 album, offered condolences to other musicians who passed recently. “Rest in peace to Blowfly, Clarence Reid. Rest in peace to Maurice White from Earth Wind & Fire, Natalie Cole—we lost all the good greats, but they left a lot of good music behind. Peace and love, y’all. Thank you very much.”
Day two of the second annual J Dilla Weekend takes place tonight (February 6).