BRINGING THE BEAT BACK
HIP HOP PRODUCTION
J Dilla. You may or may not have heard of him, but you’ll definitely have heard his influence on music. If you love hip hop, you’ll know he worked with and produced several songs by artists including De La Soul, Busta Rhymes, Janet Jackson and A Tribe Called Quest.
As a musician whose expertise was production, J Dilla used the MPC 3000 sequencer-sampler to create original music from samples and recordings. What was pioneering about J Dilla’s work was how he sampled and used beats in an irregular way which was quite different to the music being released at the time. The impact his music had earned his MPC sequencer a place in the Museum of African American History. Whilst inventing and producing new music, Dilla was battling a rare blood disorder and lupus and died aged just 32 whilst working on his album Donuts which was released posthumously to great acclaim. He set up and worked in a studio from his hospital room right up until his death.
J Dilla was visionary because he was as important a musician in the Hip Hop genre that Mozart was in the Classical Genre. His way of producing music was ahead of its time and the body of work he has created still feels as relevant today as it was when it was made and continues to influence musicians today.
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