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

dilla

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.

Read the rest after the jump

A Tribe Called Quest – The Documentary & the MTV Interviews

Let’s discuss this snowballing Tribe documentary situation… The Sundance Film Festival premiered the documentary Beats Rhymes and Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest. Fans wondered why the group wasn’t promoting the film and it became controversial; they seemed to be disassociated from the project. Phife attended the Sundance festival, but he was not happy and openly expressed regret that his bandmates were not there to share the moment. More internet rumors and rumblings suggested that Tribe was not happy with their producers, or the end result. But differences of opinion are hardly unique obstacles in film production. So the extent of Tribe’s participation was called into question because the group was practically silent about it.

Finally, this week, MTV’s news reporter Sway interviewed Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed (with Jarobi on speaker phone) to “Break the Silence” about the documentary. The video above was released today – it’s only Part Two of the interview. The real shocking statements came in Part I of the interview, confirming rumors that it was a clusterf#ck of a project. [Watch Part 1] In Part I, Q-Tip shares some internal dialogue from the producers of the film, mainly Michael Rapaport, who has been very outspoken about the documentary since the Sundance Film Festival. It revolved around an email which was mistakenly sent to the group by one of the film’s producers (probably on autocopy, thank you technology!) Even though the entertainment industry has never been known for tact, honesty or good business, the email #fail was inflammatory and upsetting to the group and its real fans.

We have some Tribe action to look forward to now, including the rest of this MTV interview, the documentary (which will be featured soon at Tribeca Film Festival) plus a new album from Q-Tip, and a “director’s cut” from Michael Rapaport.

Update 3/18 – MTV has posted the full 7-part interview here.