Need more information, homeboy then just read.
Seeing how the cat has been let out of the bag, I’ve gotten special permission from Elliott “Billion-Dollar Budget” Wilson to share some things that you won’t read in the story (due to the nature of word counts and so forth and so on). You wanna know about (not) snitching, why the album is (possibly) a classic and more, you’re gonna have to wait.
You’ve had a rough year so far. You had a death—you had two. You were one of the first people to really work with Dilla. What’s his accomplishment to hip-hop? How do you even begin to make sense that he’s not around? He brought so much to the game. He didn’t change the sound of just hip-hop, he changed the sound of R&B. He created neo-soul. Like, a lot of that sound came from him. How do you process that?
I process shit in away that helps keep my rationale an objective one, because when I start to pigeonhole my way of thinking into shit that I don’t like to think about, it starts to fuck with my mood, which then compromises the way I act and conduct myself. Dilla was a dude that—I don’t think anybody deserves to experience what he had to deal with. But, my logic on the situation is that there’s certain people that are too good for this plane of energy—without trying to get on some real, far-fetched weird shit, ‘cause I ain’t trying to do that—but Dilla was a dude that didn’t even fuck around with the club and the unnecessary propaganda. That man’s dedication was to the music on such an extreme level that it consumed who he was completely as far as his time. I’m not saying that he didn’t make time to do other things—brother got two beautiful daughters, his mother is phenomenal, Miss Yancey. I love his family very much because they created who he was.
What he was to them had to have been unbelievable in every sense of the word because who he was to us was some other shit. Who he was to music, to rap artists, to singers, just—he covered the whole spectrum of the shit creatively, from a point of view and the way that he heard shit that niggas have never been able to compete with from the day he was introduced to us to the day he went home. What made Dilla so ill to me was that he was the only producer in my whole career that I ever worked with that gave me my music on CD and that was it. So every song you heard on my album that was a Dilla-produced track was the way he gave me the beat on CD. He didn’t send no ProTools. [laughs] Dilla ain’t send no ProTools, Dilla didn’t come to the mix—none of that. And this is from my experience—I don’t know how he was with anybody else.
“Dilla could you come to New York and mix this?”
“Man, I don’t like New York, man. New York too cold, Bus.” [laughs]
But I’m like: “Yo, ain’t you from Detroit?”
“Man, New York congested, man.” [laughs] He like, “Yo, I love the home of hip-hop because I buy most of my records from NY, but I ain’t coming out there, man. You gonna have to EQ the shit out the CD, brother.” [laughs]
I swear to God, sun. And you would never know because his EQ was so stupid from the CD that I was able to do minor tweaks and master the shit and it would knock like motherfucker, anyway. That was the kind of phenomenal individual he was, who could give you beats off a EQ from a CD that was good enough to go to mastering, straight from the CD. A MP3 burn, my nigga. That’s not—that’s some rare shit.
So, at the end of the day, Dilla was just one of them dudes that, he was priceless, man. Literally. I just have one thing to say, man: People are gonna hear Dilla in a way that they’ve never heard him because he left so much incredible music around that I’m gonna personally—
[Sees a copy of Slum Village’s Fantastic Vol. 2 in his bag.]
It’s crazy. That’s how much I fuck with my nigga. See that nigga, sun? God bless my mans. Super Dilla. I got a lot of Dilla music to share with world. A whole lot.
Who have you been going through for all that?
Miss Yancey. She’s been wonderful just in terms of just letting us do what we trying to do with this music, this Dilla music, that I’m just grateful that this Miss Yancey is just the incredible woman that she is. Not only is she a phenomenal mom, but she is a tremendous supporter of hip-hop music by making sure that Dilla and his work is exposed to the fullest. And again, Dilla, he left me with some phenomenal gems on this Big Bang album, like he did on every one of my other solo albums. I was blessed with an opportunity to work with him in his final moments. And it’s crazy because Dilla, he banged out in the hospital, man, until his last day. He had his equipment in the hospital room. As long as his fingers could move that man was coming up with a banger. That’s how dedicated he was to what he was doing. He really lived this thing to his last day of breathing. Just like Iz. . .
God bless the lives and the souls of Israel “Iz” Ramirez and James “J Dilla” Yancey—two of the most incredible people that I’ve ever encountered in these walks of life. And as far as I’m able to do what I’m doing, I’m gonna continue to rep their names as appropriately as I know how to. And that’s just by continuing to be the best that I can be with my music because the longer that I can stay successful, the longer that I can carry out their legacy.
I can’t conversate like this being any younger than I am right now. It’s almost the greatest reward of being to live in the stage of my life because the younguns can’t disagree with what I’m talking about because I’m dealing with the truth. I deal with logic and rationale and I deal with point of views that are based upon a perspective that’s closer to fact than fabrication. Fuck fabrication. I sleep good, man, despite what we going through. Some unbelievable things have transpired lately. Besides living with the fact that I could never rest comfortably because of the loss of a life that so not warranted their life being taken—from Iz to J Dilla. I look at the situation as their lives were taken because they are greater than right now; they are greater than right here and the Most High obviously had a greater responsibility for them and needed them right now. He needed their help right now. And the way that they was helping us—Dilla was helping us by providing us with unbelievable music and Iz was providing me with securing my wellbeing and making sure that my safety was guaranteed anytime I stepped out of my crib. Them being willing to give their lives in that way to other people, they obviously were so much more capable of greatness that superseded the shit that we was needing from them here. I live with that and that helps keep me comfortable when I go to bed at night. I feel like they still here helping everything that I’m doing because there’s so much good that’s still happening for me. I still got Dilla music on my albums. I still got everything that Iz gave me through conversation and through his willingness to sacrifice his own personal wellbeing to keep me safe, what he contributed to that obviously allowed me to still be able to be here.