‘NY Loves Dilla’ at Inaugural Event Hosted by Ma Dukes

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Words by Korby Benoit

Since my earliest experiences listening to acts like Run DMC, The Fat Boys and UTFO the sound of hip-hop always made sense to me.  No one had to explain it to me or tell me that this was the “cool” music to listen to. Hip-hop has provided my musical foundation and my entry into the world of the arts.

In the spring of 1996, I was a high school student attending the High School of Telecommunication Arts and Technology in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. By that time, I was a hip-hop geek who took great pride in his TDK and Maxell cassette collection of rap radio shows. I used to record Stretch Armstrong & Bobbito, The Underground Railroad with Jay Smooth, and DJ Evil Dee on Hot 97. Nevertheless, it was another Hot 97 show that introduced me to James Dewitt Yancey a.k.a. Jay Dee the artist later known as J Dilla. Future Flavors was the show and it was hosted by two of the genre’s most important and influential producers, Marley Marl and Pete Rock.

As I recall, at some point during their mix, Marley and Pete got on the mic to announce they were about to play a remix by Jay Dee. While I don’t remember if this was a remix for De La Soul, Busta Rhymes or Keith Murray, I do remember the level of excitement in the voices of the two hosts. I remember enjoying the song and like hip-hop itself, the sound just spoke to me. Yet this time in a way that was a little different; The sound was more melodic and the bass groove was simply groovier than anything I’d ever heard. At the time, it sounded like hip-hop from the future. Later I learned that Dilla was also responsible for Pharcyde’s “Runnin,” which was already one of my favorite songs in their catalog. It was evident that the producer had emerged with a new sound that rap luminaries and fans loved and longed for.

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#Offline Brings Out Erykah Badu & Next Week Celebrates MLK

 

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The first #Offline party of the year was a huge success! And when we say special guests come out, we meant it: last night the inimitable Erykah Badu DJ’ed back to back with Q-Tip until the club closed for the night. Yep. You can stop hitting yourself now.

Next week, we invite you out for a very special #Offline in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.‘s legacy. Start the holiday weekend early with The Abstract as he spins an eclectic mix of funk and boogie, and be part of what people are calling “the best party in New York.”

Past guests have included Busta Rhymes, Dave Chappelle, Mark Ronson, and Nile Rodgers, to name a few, and you never know who’s going to show up next! Don’t miss out.

Event Details
#Offline MLK Jr. Celebration
w/ Q-Tip & Natasha Diggs + Special Guests

Wednesday, January 15
10PM

Tickets: $15 adv / $20 door
Purchase tickets

Output
74 Wythe Avenue
Brooklyn, NY

Staff Picks of 2013

 

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As 2013 nears its end, we continue our tradition of yearly staff picks summing up our favorite music from the 12 months past. This year is very special as we’ve extended our list makers to include Giant Step fam outside of the staff itself; many thanks to Maiya Norton, Nai Palm (Hiatus Kaiyote), Natasha Diggs, Rich Medina, and DJ Spinna for contributing their takes!

Amongst the most popular favorites were Disclosure‘s Settle, Rhye‘s Woman, James Blake‘s Overgrown, and Hiatus Kaiyote‘s Tawk Tomahawk. Dig into the complete lists and let us know your faves as well!

Giant Step Staff Picks of 2013