Kanye West Recalls Watching J Dilla Work. He Compares Him To Quincy (Video)
In 2005, Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music was the label responsible for Common’s sixth album, Be. That album, which was Common’s first Top 10 release (debuting at #2) was critical to the Chicago, Illinois MC’s career, and transformation. While West was responsible for nine of the LP’s 11 tracks, the other two were credited to J Dilla. The Detroit, Michigan producer was a founding member of Slum Village. The year prior, West had worked on “Selfish,” one of S.V.’s biggest hits without Dilla. Thus, Be would be a critical intersection of two of Hip-Hop’s most celebrated producer/MCs, and Midwest natives.
In newly released outtakes from 2014’s Our Vinyl Weighs A Ton: This Is Stones Throw Records, Kanye (who spoke extensively about Madlib in the documentary) also praised Dilla Dog. “I met J Dilla at Common’s crib just down the street here in L.A.,” said the artist during 2013 filming. “They were staying together, and I just remember looking at that MPC. And those drums came out of that MPC, arguably the best drums in Hip-Hop history,” professed ‘Ye about Dilla’s Akai sampler. “I just remember vibing with him and having so much respect, and just wanting to work with him more.”
West also compared Dilla to one of music’s most celebrated producers of the last 75 years. “[J Dilla] had the organic feel but still the sonics were breakthrough, and he could give you a warm sound that still cut through speakers. It’s like he was making Quincy Jones production sessions inside his MPC.”
J Dilla died less than one year after Be released. The Geffen Records-backed album was nominated for four Grammy awards.
Both ’90s artists that largely broke through as MCs in the early 2000s, West and Jay Dee each worked with Talib Kweli, Royce 5’9, and Q-Tip, among others.
Elsewhere in the 22-minutes of video footage, released by HypeBeast, ‘Ye discusses his vision for fashion, including his Adidas sneaker line.