Friday, February 18, 2011

Complex Mag: DJ Premier breaks down all of his classic records!

(Via Miss Info)

This was must have been an experience all its own, to say the least. My man Jaeki/Complex put hours in with DJ Premier to bring you a complete breakdown of all his classic records, straight from the hoarse’s mouth.

Gang Starr f/ Nice & Smooth “DWYCK” (1992)

DJ Premier: “It was just a fun record. It was a B-side joint. We did ‘Down the Line’ on the Nice & Smooth album, so we were like, ‘Ya’ll do one with us.’ So we just made a B-side and it was ‘DWYCK.’ WC was here when we cut that record. He was up in New York hanging with me. Don Barron from Masters of Ceremony was also here. Everybody cut their vocals, and Smooth came the second day. He laid his, and we put it out there, and all of a sudden it was a summertime smash. After that we were doing shows everywhere thanks to ‘DWYCK.’ It was a very high point in my life.

“It was supposed to be on Daily Operation, but the label wasn’t rolling with it. They just wanted to leave it the way it was. The buzz, however, was so big, we re-mastered it and tacked it onto the album, but then [the label] just didn’t do the re-pressings. I think we would’ve gone, maybe even platinum. ‘DYWCK’ was that big. We were upset, so we said, ‘Let’s at least put it somewhere down the line because even if they don’t want anything on the album, if they want ‘DWYCK’ on it, they’ll cop’em.’ So that’s why we put that on Hard to Earn.”

Nas “N.Y. State of Mind” (1994) after the jump…

Nas “N.Y. State of Mind” (1994)

DJ Premier: “That was just amazing because it happened in this room. Actually, anything from ‘92 and on, we did it here. It was just amazing watching him work because I was already a fan of him when he did ‘Back to the Grill,’ ‘Halftime,’ ‘It Ain’t Hard to Tell,’ and ‘Live at the Barbeque.’ So when I heard him on those records I was like, ‘Yo, I got to do something that’s on the same level.’ So I came in here, and flipped the ill, gutter, Joe Chambers sample (‘Mind Rain’). I can tell you because it’s cleared. [Laughs.] Nas watched me build the beat from scratch. And he wrote the verse in the studio. If you listen to ‘N.Y. State of Mind’ you’ll hear him going, ‘I don’t know how to start this shit,’ because he literally just wrote it. Before he started the verse, I was signaling him going, ‘One, two, three,’ and he just goes in like, ‘Rappers I monkey flip’em, in the funky rhythm.” He did that in one take. After he did that first verse, he goes, ‘How was that? Did that sound all right?’ And we were just like, ‘Oh, my God! The streets are going to go crazy when they hear this!’

“It was one take, but he would format it before. He’ll sit at the front, cover his mouth when the beat’s playing, and would mumble it. So we can’t hear what he’s saying. He was real quiet, but he would bring his whole army. Rest in peace to Drawz, by the way. He just died not too long ago. I remember [Nas] bringing Slate, Wallet Head, basically, all the people he was shouting out. They would be like, ‘Can we go in [the booth] too?’ They just wanted to feel it, you know? It was just funny to watch them all in the booth doing ‘Represent,’ and yelling in the background.”

read the full story at COMPLEX

Monday, February 7, 2011

J. Dilla Documentary 'Still Shining'

"J.Dilla: Still Shining" from B.Kyle on Vimeo.

(AllHipHop News) A full documentary on J. Dilla dropped today (February 7th), on what would have been the critically acclaimed producer's 37th birthday.

Gifted Films Inc. teamed with and Brian "B. Kyle" Atkins to produce J. Dilla: Still Shining, an 39-minute documentary project on the Detroit-born producer.

J. Dilla is a revered producer who utilized technology as well as live instrumentation throughout his career, to craft a previously-unheard style of production.

Artists like Slum Village, The Pharcyde, Busta Rhymes, A Tribe Called Quest, The Roots, Janet Jackson, Common, Guru, Vivian Greene, Talib Kweli, Mos Def and others benefited from Dilla's sound.

Tragically, J. Dilla died on February 10th, 2006, just days after his 32nd birthday.

The producer suffered from Lupus, an incurable blood disease that effects over 5 million people across the world, annually.

Still Shining tells the story of J. Dilla, born James Yancey, through photographs, rare concert footage and exclusive testimonials from artists like Common, Q-Tip, Erkyah Badu, Busta Rhymes, ?uest Love DJ House Shoes and others.

Production on Still Shining began on the day of Dilla's funeral, according to producers of the documentary.

"I'm very happy to have this opportunity to thank his fans," said J. Dilla's mother Maureen "Ma Dukes" Yancey. "I am happy as can be for the support he has been given, [it] lets me know that he work was not in vain and all of the work he has will live forever.

"He has so much more that's going to be given to the world and this was his wish during his illness, that he be able to give his gift to the world," Ms. Yancey continued. "He was able to live long enough to give that gift back and it will last a lifetime. I'm so proud. I'm not mourning because I am rejoicing. I have been so blessed to have been the mother of a genius."

Still Shining is an interesting, personal look into the life of Dilla, with comment from the man himself, who revealed his inspirations for production.

"I get the inspiration from talking to people like Pete Rock and Diamond D," Dilla revealed. "Every time I call Pete, he's in the basement. Every time I call him he's working. Every time I call Diamond, he's in the lab. So it's like it's nothing for me to do but do the same thing."

"It was a great experience being around him," legendary producer Pete Rock commented. "We gave each other a lot of inspiration, I would call him on the phone what time it was. If I had a beat going that was crazy, I was letting him hear it. And he would do the same thing."