The Magnificent EP (2002)—DJ Jazzy Jeff
J Dilla produced a song called ‘Are You Ready’ for the original Magnificent, but the Slum Village tracks didn’t make the album. We knew that doing an EP like this was going to have a collector’s item effect if we didn’t place those Dilla tracks on the first release. Jay Dee and I became very close. I was introduced to him by Common and it was funny because just from having an admiration for what he did musically, it was weird because I’m like ‘Oh shit, it’s Dilla’ and he’s saying, ‘Oh shit, it’s Jazzy Jeff.’ He would fly to Philly and I would pick him up from the airport and we would go record shopping. I would take him to all of the record spots he wanted to go in Philly and then drive him back to the airport the same day. Whenever he would come in to do work with the Roots he would use my drum machines.
Collaborating with Dilla was like working with a genius. This was somebody who would take these samples from so many different places and just fuse it all together. We all tried to produce at the level he did. I’ve watched him make beats in seven minutes that it would take a lifetime to do. I remember going on a beat digging trip with Dilla and Kenny Dope. Dilla would be like, ‘Do you know who this is???…Put this on your pile.’ I was in awe that I had two of the best beat makers and record collectors on each side of me and they were just making piles of records for me to take home. When we got back to the studio they played every record they made me buy.