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QUESTLOVE ON DILLA's inspirations...........................


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#1 LEVAR BURDEN

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 06:28 PM

...........talks about kanye/pete rock/primo.........this is dope!

there is NO potential for opening a can of worms.....or a can o arrogance. (this can go either way if word gets back to either camp)

i guess in a sense there could be speculation on whether or not the "gil scott" voice sample is Donuts-esque in "the people" or if "black maybe" with the use of Syreeta's voice is in that same mode....

but imma take you back and give yall the answer.

cause on the real....

its Kanye, paying tribute to dilla FOR paying tribute to kayne who was paying tribute to rza.

follow me now.

imma jackie brown this and go back a lil. this is gonna be long.


imma start with the pete rock batch.


there lies a pete rock batch somewhere in a basement storage unit in detroit. not only have i heard it but i sorta seen him make it.


see. to all my okayproducers (especially the ones who got into beatmaking circa 1991 to about 2004) 9 times outta 10....the first beat you ever made was someone else's beat. no lie. i feel like the ONLY way to be a better beat maker is to master someone else's beat. figure how they did some shit. and if you REALLY in love with your new found craft (see Dilla) you will find ways to improve on it....and THEN you can call it your own.

i did it. everyone from that era did it. first time i made a beat on someone else's machine i practiced and remade "welcome to the terrordome" because my dad had all the ingredients in his record collection and i practiced on my toy casio sk-1 before i went to bill jolly's crib to mess around with his equipment.

but here is the thing about the "groove merchant" era of production (i dubbed ATCQ, extra p, primo, pete rock, de la (meaning pos and dave and mase were part of that era too....paul was more the "ultimate beats and breaks" era with some crazy pop overtones and masterfull sequencing genius), and diamond d's ---and cats from that feather who later influenced the buckwilds and the jay swifts and the no id's and the like of the production world) that shit (meaning the initial Groove Merchant production way of life) was like gold mining in the wild wild west in the early 1800s. it was an empty marketplace and the coast was clear...but you also knew that time was running out because either someone was going to discover your craft and crowd the marketplace or bite your craft or even worse...change your craft (hello chronic!)


the difference between break shopping in 1994 (when i first got put on to record shopping in the four figures)--and now in 2007?


man....a cat behind the counter could face a potential beatdown if he gave a secret away.


the secret:

afrika bam- would wash the label off the record so you couldn't bite his breakbeats that he would play at zulu parties.

biz and marley- would buy all of the same records and 45s from the same store so the noone else could have access to those records.


tip would NEVER share his secret salvation army store locations on the west coast for fear so and so and such and such would discover it and take some treats too.


pete rock would resort to violence if he got word that a certain record dealer played (hypothetical example) the lou donaldson break of "who's making love" to another producer AFTER said dealer just made pete pay $50 for it

(pete "yo man how you find that break?"
producer "?" "oh i went to downtown records and they had a copy"
pete on the phone "YO MAN WTF!!!!!!!!!")

i mean shit was MAD competitive before i got in the game. once i got in the game it was on its last legs and once i really got 10 years in shit was a lost art. now i record shop in ghost towns of a record store--although STILL expensive, not a crowded marketplace....for the thing that gets you paid in hip hop now is ringtone beats. not samples.

but man...in 94 and 95? beat tape sharing was like a code of honor shit.


cats were never threatened by me cause (i dont know if this is a good or a bad thing) cause i was not "one of them" i "play drums" or...still seen as "not real hip hop" (!?!?)--like the down syndrome cousin you still gotta be nice to at the family reunion...but he aint playing on my softball team damnit.---so they would openly play me shit and show me shit cause i was the first cat to arrive on the scene on some journalist shit and ask about their craft....

i mean you ask pete "how in the hell you manage to stuff the "bubblegum" break, the merv griffin james brown intro on the back of the "world" 45 ("number one soul brother....")"the grunt" backwards, "funky penguin", "long red", "lovin man" by eugene mcdaniels, AND that genius filter of marshall jones' bassline in the ohio players "pain"---in ONE PASS?!?!!?! (my first words to pete...most cats would be like "hello, TROY was a major influence on me" i was more like "pete i need answers NOW!!!!" lol)--i mean dude was flattered that someone cared enough to memo a cookbook-esque like memory to hold their shit up in that light of "importance" ("damn kid...the way you describe it makes me feel like a work of art or something" <---his response)

that didn't work on all cats....tip "stanned" me for about 3 years lol.


but turn that around and let me be a cat tryna come up...let's place that same conversation and this time lemme be just blaze just getting put on in 1993....pete might have his guard up. why? cause new meat means someone else's old meat.

and that is how cats was back then...it would be HILLLLLLLLLARIOUS.


i'd watch cats (except primo who was in a world by himself---no mistaking his sound) do the "oh yeah i got that break" game over and over and over again. as you would play them your new creation. kinda hoping to catch you off guard or make you reconsider you using that sample before they get to do it first.

tip plays his cypress hill "illusion" remix....first thing pete says is "oh yeah this is "the whatnaughts and daaddadadada......i just used this for dadadadadad"

seen crazy cats say "don't tell dadadaddad i flipped marvin gaye's dadadadddada cause he gonna bite and say "I ALREADY DID THAT!!!!!

like some "1..2..3..I GOT MY BASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" game of hide and seek.

THAT is the atmosphere dilla came into being.


although he was part of the second wave of groove merchants--his heart really belonged to the idols he worshiped from the varsity class. but they've been known to scoff and sneer at the youngins cause "that was my snare from 91"....and "his chops is horrible"---i mean it was a competitive game out there.

so of course dilla made his entry under the ATCQ shield. he was the hungry-eager to please new ideas on old records injection they needed.---i mean who is going to be the madman to chop dj towea tei's 6 second loop to make "find a way"? who is going to have the patience to sit through a rodney franklin album to make "wordplay"?---

but sometimes....just to pass the time, dilla would amuse himself and play the "this is how i would do it" game.

not even being smart...or arrogant

just "man if i had a chance to freak some shit before dadadada got to it first".....type thing".


i call it his passive agressive way of saying "im the man"

when i first met him he was still in that young jedi/still the student/just finding things out phase. this is what confused him about cats like me and 88 already knowing what he didn't know then:

he was "THE ONE"


he was VERY uncomfortable with fan worship in that sense because one:
how can someone be declared the greatest when there is NO evidence of it. and if he is so great: why is he living in his parents basement in detroit? (riq does the same shit. HATES when his peers do that: "YO THOUGHT YOU SO ILL! MAN!!! you are the illest nigga ever!!!!---and in his head its like "if i am so ill how come the ONLY nigga that wants me to spit on his shit is Kweli?----i think that is where his "edginess" yall sense comes in....but that is a whole nother poast")

but i was more quiet about him being "THE ONE"--

until okayplayer came along.

but that was 5 years after i met him so i was cool.

anywho....back to that pete rock batch--

dilla was ALWAYS making these ill ass beats that pete rock already made.

like his version of "for pete sake" with the "substitution" drums all demented like he did for Common.

or him flipping "Bam Bam" from Sister Nancy like Pete did on the basement.

shit that regular ears would never hear....he'd pick me up from the airport and on the floor would be a cassette and it would say "pete" or "primo" or "dre" and it was just him doing some homework trying to up his game with different challenges.---

i mean mastering primo means getting your scratch game and your accapella knowledge up and working with big meaty drums as opposed to the small crispy kit you used for your own project.

but if you wanna be the illest you gotta master it.


one of his "primo" beats he felt was good enough to get out without cats getting "the joke"/ or labeling him a biter was phat kat's "dedication to the suckers"
in which he used primo's "blues formula" theory (deep drums and a shrill noise on the 3. repeat 3 times. bar four change the shrill noise to a louder shrill noise used the first three times. repeat til fade. add scratches in for chorus. bonus points if the words "industry" or "the business of..." in the chorus--and where does primo find them sound bites?!?! lol---jokes..)

it was easier to let that get out without getting noid because primo never rolled like that. primo's theory was the better quality hip hop out there...be it a bitten loop or some crazy original shit....as long as it was RAW? it was all good. cause that helped the game survive. i never once heard of prime screaming on a dealer for playing a record, or him hiding his beat stash so that "dadadada" next door won't know about the difference between the two versions of sly's "small talk" on the marketplace.

now pete?

god bless pete.


pete was jealously passionate about his craft. if it was funky? he HAD to have and stamp it as his first (i mean we already read the whole debacle over "the jazz" on the low end theory) and he earned his stripes as the general of classic beatmaking...but he has earned a rep for his "by any means" method of beats (i don't think de la was too keen on his "float on" remix for lords of the underground---cause even primo said "rappers shouldn't charge other rappers for samples" and since pete took the main loop of this remix from a de la record....its not like he had to pay for it. so basically he car jacked a loop that de la probably slaved over...got denied...flatlined...and now pete sees the car on the side of the road...takes its parts and somehow got it to the finish line.

(pete took de la's GREATEST beat flip, an unclearable remix for "breakadawn" taken from prince's "the ballad of dorothy parker" and used their flip of "ballad" for his LOTUg remix. what makes it weird is that ---well back when a remix could bring attention to your album---de la never got the benefit and glory of doing an AMAZING beatflip (93 standard--of course in this dilla age of flipping the stakes are higher--but back then? i lost my cotdamn mind when i first heard that shit.) You see...only inside heads knew about this remix. and since 93 was a dangerous time anyway--with gfunk taking the edge and attention away from new york...that cost the "Mindstate" project some major street cred points it needed to sustain itself vs the easily platinum counterpart of midnight marauders.---back when street cred was a funky ass beat. not a beat up concept like "i sell drugs".

or take the whole controversy of the "wha wha wha wha wha wha wha wha wha" part of "psychedelic shack" (not the tempts version but...i forget who) that tribe used on "midnight" and pete used on "the main ingredient" --now who is to say "well since tribe used it first then pete was wrong to use it too"

i dont agree with that.


that is where i DISagree. cause the entire fanbase don't think like beatmakers. so hearing an element of your song in someone else's song to me is just a part of a the game. i mean you forever have the right to say "i released it first"...but for all we know...pete grew up on that record and knew about it before you did....you just happened to get to the finish line first before he did and released it first.


so for you lazy readers just skimming this let me reiterate: this is not a bash one dude to big up the next dude post.

this is meant to explain the mentality of what the beatmaking environment was in my eyes "back in the day".....cats spent ALOT of money buying records. and clearing samples. and fishing for great beats to make the soundtrack of our lives.

so ABOUT THAT DAMN DILLA TAPE!


dilla worshiped pete because pete was worthy of it. i mean pete can set fire to my record room tomorrow and i just MIGHT consider dropping charges cause he made "Soul Brother #1" (say it in chapelle's "he made Thriller" voice)--but

under NO circumstance was i to let pete hear these treats.

"why?" i asked.

he might take it personal. and dilla heard too much from the other varsity team about pete and couldn't risk having his idol brand him "enemy" cause he used one "long red" break too many.

i thought dukes was buggin....i said to myself "if these beats ever got out there...then just maybe beatheads will know what me and 88 already knew from the gate:

dilla was god.


i mean break after break it was killing me to keep this secret: that "mind blowing" joint with v mojica? slum had some AMAZING shit for volume 2 called "Sentimental Love" with these drums that made the kicks in "Get It Together" and "Wordplay" seem like a sober night at the drumset.

and INI's first joint that used the Dorothy Ashby harp break was flipped something terrrrrrrible for Que-D (a fellow mc from the D) that really aint see the light of day.

i mean i heard stupid shit....sheeeit Me and D even took the Dilla flipped Crown Heights Affair "Far Out" that pete used after the "Spaces and Places" interlude on Ingredient and tried to make a jam of it on Voodoo.

i think Dill came out of his confidence shell around Vol 2 time. he had an even bigger Pete dilemma: to "spruce up" (you mean "improve" jay? "naw naw...just--you know..."spruce it up a bit"--so humble that cat) "Once Upon A Time In America". in short. Pete did the beat and it was dope. But cotdamn when Dill "spruced it up".....there was no denying it.

but he would talk himself outta shit over and over and over again.


maybe he should just drop the song altogether and come up with something else so pete wont be offended.


i called hogwash. as im sure other's did too. for it stayed on the album.

i do know the final straw was the creation of what i felt was his greatest pete flip: "little brother" for blackstar.

now normally i thought only i was privy to these treats...but i guess somehow mos and kwe got their hands on that beat (dill's flip of pete's post "in the house" interlude from the Ingredient album)--and they looped the beat from the beat tape.--

i was amazed he let that beat out cause of all those beats? that is the beat he really was on his most "who is the jedi master now??!!" shit.

again...just a humble way to --tap tap tap tap-- "uh hello? im the shit thank you....don't forget it" (exit stage left)

im sure somewhere in archives is the story of how he made that beat and why i consider it to be his greatest flip.

which now leads to kanye (dragnet horns)

the real story is:

kanye was the inspiration for the motown/dill withers series.

after i heard the "dancing machine"/throwup flip i was like....

ok something is up here.

then i heard the "everyone can see your love is real good" and it hit me....

"this beat is too cotdamn intricate for an mc to rhyme over....it would distract from whatever is being said...what is the purpose of putting this batch out of songs and noone can rhyme over em? ---i mean these were put together with genius beyond no other....but what was the real reason THIS batch...more than any other batch is circulated out there more than others? i asked him.

i mean...is this your version of the pete batch for ye? kinda like a nudge like "i see you....but peep this shit"?

he told me that "spaceship" fucked him up cause for the first time he never heard that interpretation of "distant lover" in his head when he heard "distant lover". kinda fucked him up a lil.

i was like damn...that sounds like me when i talk about him (dilla). cause lord knows i have those same exact records he had and its always after the fact when i discover "he used this?!!?!?!?!?!?!?!?"

so there could be some speculation going on with that marvel. did that mean he knew he was on his last moments and he just had to make one more message to the world of beatmaking and show them what me and 88 knew all along? was the goal to take some simple very familiar breaks and just do the Will Smith solves rubiks cube challenge in the cab with 2 mins left trick? i mean who in their right mind would spit on something as crazy as "waves" or "glazed" before they became his Donuts?

"you tryna say something to us we don't know man?"

he laughed and shrugged and never answered.

#2 neologism

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 07:00 PM

is there any proof that biz owns all these rare records he talks about? reading his part reminds of his bob james 12"

and pete sounds crazy.

#3 The Wig Master

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 07:30 PM

?, always a good read (even though i can never understand some of his references).
thanks

#4 Kasper

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 07:40 PM

yeah, damn good read. and same question as chevy, haha. quest is a wild cat. i kind of liked finding out about pete's violent nature when it came to shifty record dealers. real shit.

#5 Kuraden

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 08:11 PM

Didn't Kanye's cousin make Spaceship? Hahaha

#6 Ason Unique

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 09:01 PM

dope read, quest has always got somethin good to say

#7 miss stress

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 10:15 PM

and INI's first joint that used the Dorothy Ashby harp break was flipped something terrrrrrrible



"Cuz brothas that fake jax get laid on they back"




Ummm, I'm sooooooo suprised how much respect was given to that Soul Brotha #1 because Lord only knows it gets overlooked


GREAT READ , BTW!

#8 93 million miles

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Posted 25 July 2007 - 09:57 AM

This was a really interesting aspect of music production. And i myself hold true to the old school ways of production, ie. don't flip a break that has already been flipped and don't call out a persons sample i.d.

okay so maybe you can re flip something, but only for personal use.

#9 The Wig Master

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Posted 25 July 2007 - 12:03 PM

don't flip a break that has already been flipped
okay so maybe you can re flip something, but only for personal use.


didn't oh no use something doom already messed with for a track off his galt album? i thought oh no flipped it waaaaay sicker

#10 S.L.

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Posted 25 July 2007 - 12:12 PM

HAHAHAHAHAH!!!
Pete almost sounded like a mad man! But you understand it all.

#11 akabrownsugar

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Posted 25 July 2007 - 04:42 PM

where does quest get the time to play drums & take photos with amy winehouse with all this blogging? i hardly even have time to read the damn things


me too, but i know people who take their laptop to the toilets. maybe ?uesto does it too.

don't flip a break that has already been flipped and don't call out a persons sample i.d.


it's cool but... are we really supposed to know everything that came out ?

#12 tinwolf

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Posted 25 July 2007 - 05:23 PM

well it goes a little something like this! there is an album that preceeded both fantastic's that was an inspiration to fantastic 1&2 and i bet u never heard it.

the kats, the only all-female rap band that dilla ever produced, also featuring dj dez and amp and bubz fiddler

ever wondered why fantastic 2 had those deep emotional undertones ?

there was a blueprint in place thats totally under the radar.

until now.

if anyone is interested in finding out more check out www.myspace.com/portiapasha
or e-mail me and maybe i will bless u

tinwolf.

#13 Dick Starbuck

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Posted 25 July 2007 - 05:34 PM

good read

#14 Genesis

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Posted 25 July 2007 - 07:21 PM

Very interesting...I WANT MORE

?'s way of writing is kinda distracting at times though :huh:

#15 ptahh

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 04:51 AM

you should see Pete Rock in action at a night club one night in nyc, for the shinining release party. lets just say the owner of bbe was not happy after pete left.....

#16 OSŲ

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:59 PM

This "shit" is maaad enlightening
Anyone know where this ?uestlove post originally came from?? I found it on some other corner of the internet where cats were arguing about how to use an MPC....

#17 4444

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 07:49 AM

This "shit" is maaad enlightening
Anyone know where this ?uestlove post originally came from?? I found it on some other corner of the internet where cats were arguing about how to use an MPC....

Most likely from the old okayplayer.com forum. EDIT: I guess this is the thread: Do you think Kanye is biting off Dilla?
Spoiler


Also, more ?uest's celebrity stories: http://www.hypnagogics.com/questo
And about how Dooinit was made during 'Detroit Olympics': https://soundcloud.c...om-questlove-on

#18 DJ Projexion

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 10:46 AM

Missed this the first time around. Great read. He should write a book on this, I'd definitely buy it...

#19 gEEchieDan

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:23 AM

"and INI's first joint that used the Dorothy Ashby harp break was flipped something terrrrrrrible"



my cuzzo flipped this beat also! tell me what yall think! can someone rap over it?????

THIS POST IS SUPER DOPE THX ALOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#20 OfficeTime8889

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 12:37 PM

This was a really interesting aspect of music production. And i myself hold true to the old school ways of production, ie. don't flip a break that has already been flipped and don't call out a persons sample i.d.

okay so maybe you can re flip something, but only for personal use.


Dudes can sample the same records, thats fine. Having your record sound too similar to someone else's from the same sources of audio is WACK and I've been noticing instances of this a lot lately. In my opinion, thats really disrespectful shit

#21 gEEchieDan

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 11:21 PM

Dudes can sample the same records, thats fine. Having your record sound too similar to someone else's from the same sources of audio is WACK and I've been noticing instances of this a lot lately. In my opinion, thats really disrespectful shit


yeah true but sometimes people use the same sample and the flip turns out the same way without prior knowledge of the previous persons flip, just like this beat i posted but ur right if you try to make it sound the same thats whack, dillas little brother flip of "aint got time" is way diff than petes and way better, peace bro love ur zeal in music!!!!

#22 bertskee

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 07:23 PM

found it on some other corner of the internet where cats were arguing about how to use an MPC....


Posted Image

I had to.
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