Dilla was a friend of Mochilla for many years before we knew him. We are those heads that lived and breathed his rumbling unquantised kicks and his crisp to point of exclamatory snares since the days of Labcabincalifornia. I remember in those days the furor locally about this twenty year old from Detroit taking over from J Swift as the Pharcyde’s producer. Little could we imagine that this was merely the beginning of his reign as minder of hiphop’s heart beat.
Many years later Eric and I had the chance to shoot him for what became Jaylib and we spent some time in Detroit at his house. He was never a man to take a compliment easily and I remember taking the time to try and explain why we so avidly followed his work. Who else would sample Stereolab, who else would chop Ursula Dudziak and indeed who else would start the interest in sampling Bossa Nova.
In the middle of 05 Eric, Madlib and I had the chance to take Dilla to Brasil. He was so excited that he left an “I’m out Brasilian style…” message on his voice mail for like three months. Dilla didn't see that much of Brasil really because of his illness but he didn't complain once – he was happy to be there – “It was part of his dream…” Mrs. Yancey told me at the removal on Tuesday.
Dilla has inspired so many and put so much happiness and strength into peoples hearts that it was a tragedy to see him leave us so young. I’ve included some pictures from Brasil with this piece and a photo that I gave Dilla when he was in the hospital that he really liked. It was by him when he passed last Friday.