This new mini-documentary explores J Dilla’s unsurpassable beat-making chops with the AKAI MPC 3000 drum machine/sampler. Watch it below.
Like the rest of the Earworm series (which you should definitely check out), the documentary centres around historical artefacts, teased out by interviews with academics, artists and other creatives.
DJ, producer, MC, co-founder of Revive Music Group, and assistant professor at the Brekley College of Music, Brian “Radar” Ellis shares his views on Dilla’s style, particularly the way he ignored the MPC’s quanitisation features, which let musicians map out loops and samples in a rigid fashion.
“I think Dilla was just super funky. A lot of that had to do with him being willing to not care if the record speeds up or slows down, as long as it feels good, and just throwing that care out the window… ‘Forget quantize man, it does what I say it does’ and just rocking like that,” he says.
“…He used his MPC like Jimi Hendrix played guitar or John Coltrane played the saxophone. It was an extension of himself,” the narrator finishes.
That sums it up pretty damn well. Watch the video via Vox below.