On the cusp of the announcement from Maureen “Ma Dukes” Yancey, the mother of the late, great producer J. Dilla, of a new project, some newly discovered footage of Kanye West discussing his relationship with the Detroit native has surfaced. The video comes from the 2013 Stones Throw documentary, Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton.
In the 22-minute interview, Yeezy reminisces on how he met Dilla and how he crafted his uniquely soulful sound.“I met J Dilla at Common’s crib just down the street here in LA,” he says. “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. I just remember vibing with him and having so much respect, and just wanting to work with him more.”
Kanye compares Dilla to one of the greatest music producers of all time saying, “He had the organic feel but still the sonics were breakthrough, and he could give you a warm sound that still cut through speakers,” Yeezy says. “It’s like he was making Quincy Jones production sessions inside his MPC.” In the outtakes, Kanye goes on to explain the deep parallels between fashion and Hip-Hop, the stigma and significance behind wearing gaudy jewelry, his Adidas sneaker line, and his upbringing in Chicago.
The two Midwest icons have consistently worked together over the years on various songs and projects including breakthrough albums and singles from Common (Be), Slum Village (Selfish), and many more.
Dilla’s forthcoming project, Motor City, a collection some of his rarest and unreleased instrumentals is set to be released on April 21.