HAPPY B-DAY JAMES YANCEY!!
Since today is the anniversary of the birth of Dilla, it’s only fair I share the first Dilla song I heard and recognized as Dilla or at the time Jay Dee. I was going into my last year of high school (c/o 2001. Yeah I’m old). It was a Sunday afternoon in Detroit and I had the radio playing in my room. This song came on and I remember thinking “hmm, that beat sounds different”, but I didn’t play too much mind to it. Then towards the end I hear “6 Mile! 7 Mile! 8 Mile! Southfield! Royal Oak! Oak Park!” I said to myself “hold up! That’s some Detroit stuff! Who is this?” Sure enough the DJ said “Detroit’s own Slum Village with ‘Raise It Up'”. I wrote down the name of the song. Ran to the computer. Hopped on Napster (told ya I was old) and looked up the song. 30 minutes later I’m listening to the 1st Detroit hip hop artists that I’d ever heard of. The beat was different. The flow was different. They rep’d The D. I was proud. Sure enough at the end came the shout outs and I got excited. Then it happened. The song faded out and another faded in. I had to stop and stand still. I didn’t know what it was but I knew I had to find this album and find out who’s behind this music. During this time I was also starting to get into Okayplayer and from searching the boards and buying the album and reading the liner notes, not only did I learn of Jay Dee, but I also found out that he was behind alot of the music I was beginning to hear and somethings I’d heard already. I’ve been a fan ever since.
The beginning….and you’ll see what I mean at the 4:08 mark. That small interlude is MY FAVORITE Dilla track, and it isn’t even a full track.