Questions for Dilla

For those that don't know, I am a journalist first, blogger second. Don't be mad at me, that's just the way it is! However, I do feel the need to let you in on what it's like to be a journalist, especially a music journalist, and into the mind (well, at least mine) of a music journalist. I'm pretty sure anybody who loves hiphop and REAL music in general knows who J Dilla is. Or was. In case you don't know, HE'S ONE OF THE GREATEST HIPHOP PRODUCERS OF ALL TIME!!! Ever since I heard Janet Jackson's "Got 'Til It's Gone", I was mesmerized by how he flipped Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi" and transformed the idea of such a folk, country record into straight up neo-soul. Little did I know how many "Dilla (Dilla) beats (beats)" I wasn't aware of, from De La Soul to Pharcyde, dude was all over the place. Since hearing that record, I made it a purpose that year (in '97) to find any and every record Dilla made. I wanted to get into the his mind, like "How and why did you do that?" because that's just the person I am, and he's just the kind of person that will give you all type of insight on things you don't know. Unfortunately, I could never do it, but I'll post the questions anyway as if he's still alive because it's essential to see who he was through what I want to know...

1) Usually this is a question for singers and band members, but I find it fitting to ask you this anyway - describe to me your sound and what makes a Dilla beat.

2) When did you first start making music? How do you think it developed over the years?

3) Although you are a world-renowned producer, you also have another title as an emcee. When did you first start rapping? What inspired you to rhyme?

4) What emcees out there would you like to rap with that you haven't yet?

5) Give me your top 5 emcees out right now. How would you produce their album, if you haven't already?

6) Give me your least favorite rapper out now and how you would produce his or her album, given that you had to?

7) How do you go about producing songs? When an artist calls you up like "yo, can you make this song for me?" and you decide to go with it, how do you put that track together?

8) Out of curiosity, how many records do you own? How do you even find the tracks you use for production?

9) What's your favorite record store for crate digging?

10) What is your ultimate purpose as a musician? How do you plan on evolving your sound?

11) What is your opinion about the art of production nowadays?

12) Where do you see hiphop music in the next 10 years?

R.I.P J Dilla

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