Before Kanye there was No I.D; before No I.D there was J Dilla, and before J Dilla there was no one.
After his unfortunate passing in 2006, the legendary producer was canonized as one of hip hop’s greatests. With a special ear for classic soul records, Dilla turned flipping samples into an art form, pioneering a new method for music production.
Made some time in the mid-90’s, ‘Back To The Crib’ was a mixtape Dilla produced and listened to for his own pleasure. BBE Records co-founder and close friend of Dilla, Peter Adarkwah, tells the story of how he came about the tape via Boiler Room, now graciously given to us in memory of a decade since Dilla’s passing.
“Towards the end of 1999 or early 2000, it was my first trip to Detroit. James (Yancey) was working with James Poyser on Erykah’s Mama’s Gun LP. We’d checked out a couple of record stores (I can’t recall where or their names) and this tape was playing in the car. I recall Think Twice was on the tape and I suggested there and then that he do a cover with Erykah for the BBE album. We didn’t get the Erykah feature, but people sure remember James’ cover. We drove past a sign, it said Welcome To Detroit and I suggested that would be a good name for the album. When we pulled over James gave me the tape and said this is yours, or words to effect.”
If you are a fan of Dilla, there is no doubt that you will love this gem.