Karriem Riggins: “J Dilla Inspired Me to Continue Learning About Music”

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Familiarize yourself with Karriem Riggins. The producer hailing from Detroit, Michigan, had an early start in the game as an established drummer playing for notable jazz musicians such as Ray Brown Trio, Mulgrew Miller, and Diana Krall. Raised in a musical family (Riggins’ father is jazz musician Emmanuel Riggins), Karriem discovered hip-hop as an adolescent, but remained his study of different genres. As a result, his discography is as diverse as his style. He’s collaborated with jazz icons such as Donald Byrd, Hank Jones, Milt Jackson, Oscar Peterson, Roy Hargrove, and Bobby Hutcherson, as well as Soulquarian notables Erykah Badu, The Roots, Talib Kweli, Common, and J Dilla.

Riggins’ first solo album, Alone Together was released in the summer of 2012. The instrumental piece captures the lonesome emotions of Riggins’ creative process, as he worked on a bulk of the project on a tour bus across Europe. XXL got up with the multifaceted musician to break down his journey to date. —Jaeki Cho (@JaekiCho)