Many thanks to all who made this possible.
As Dilla’s birthday nears (Feb 8th), events are happening across the globe celebrating a life that touched many. Instrumentals so often take the backseat to whatever rapper is on a track, but in Dilla’s case an awareness and appreciation for his mastery are evident (and deserved). Just search “Dilla” on twitter any given day and hear the resounding chorus of a grateful community. Though I count myself in the category of folks who were introduced to his work after his passing, I’m thankful for friends who helped me delve not only into his output, but also that of those he influenced: Common, The Roots, D’Angelo, Slum Village, Erykah Badu, etc. His discography reads like a who’s who of folks on our iPods.
This is my spin on two of his most famous works. I played with the timing a bit. Hope you enjoy. RIP Dilla.
Many thanks to David James on vocals
The end samples an orchestral piece by Miguel Atwood Ferguson. His album, Timeless: Suite for Ma Dukes, has finally been released on amazon.com. It’s gorgeous…definitely worth a purchase.
I’ve heard variations of this for the past couple weeks. It has in fact been a year since I wrote on this thingamabobber. From what I understand, one should never do this because employers view those who seldom update as shiftless, unfocused (look, a rabbit!), and or overly infatuated with the iPhone.
I’ll only admit to one of these (iPhone addiction, yes I’ve joined the dark side).
More importantly, I’ve been out of the blog game due to a maxim one of my musical heroes imparted to me. He said something along the lines of “as musicians, we shouldn’t be afraid to play the rests.” In other words, our silences can be just as important as notes on a page. This focus on “playing the rests” has helped me to slow down as I’m playing…and be more deliberative. I’m forever grateful to Walt for that lesson…and it’s in that spirit that I took an extended hiatus from my site.
I’m still playing, though I’ve had to say no to some gigs because of work and school. The beat goes on, even if it’s a silent one.
It’s finally here! Hope you all enjoy. If you’re hip to the book of faces, make sure you check out my profile for an opportunity to win an iPod Touch. Alls ya gots to do is give a creative review for Mammoth. You can download it for free, stream it, access it however you so desire. We’ve got originals on there, as well as our interpretations of tunes from Kanye, the Roots, Dave Matthews Band, Coldplay, and Abbey Lincoln. Hope ya’ll enjoy!
I’ve heard you shouldn’t write within 30 minutes of waking up, or thirty minutes of sleeping. Your mind is cluttered by emotions, they say. The older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve seen the wisdom in this…learning the benefits of calculation and thought rather than the perils of immediate reaction. But on days like today all I have is immediate reaction.
Christina Taylor Greene was the nine year old girl killed in yesterday’s massacre in Arizona. It’s only been a day, but I fear her story has been lost in the proceedings. One can’t objectively compare tragedy without sounding callous and cold…and I make no attempt to do so. Every person who died and was injured yesterday is in my thoughts and prayers. But Christina, this nine-year-old girl born on September 11, 2001 (if you can believe it), is the story I can’t stop thinking about.
News reports have stated she was visiting Congresswoman Giffords’ forum to learn how government works…that she was interested in politics and was in the student council. What a sad reflection on our politics that this is what she found…has found her whole post 9-11 life, really: a heated political rhetoric that sees little value in compromise but instead chooses to put gun marks on people they disagree with. And this rhetoric is hardly just in the purview of the right…we on the left are responsible as well.
Then there are those who say we should leave politics out of it. That this was just a deranged young man without any coherent governmental agenda. Perhaps this is the case. But there is no doubt that today’s political climate is not healthy for the deranged or the more sane. One never knows what pushes someone over the edge, but I dare say that people in the Sarah Palin/Glen Beck vein don’t help matters.
My alarm just rung…it’s 7:00, and I’m reminded that I have to play at church. Reminded that I’m supposed to conclude now, but finding it difficult to switch gears so easily. Questions of God are nothing new. “Why is there suffering” is a question that each generation raises again and again. Each generation has dealt with such problems in their own way…attributing suffering to the weakness of man, the devil, etc. But right now explanations like that do nothing for me. These are fears most of us are too scared to admit we have (at least publicly, lest we be judged as “weak _____ (insert religious branch here).” But on days like this I’m not scared to admit the fears and doubts I have…fears and doubts egged on by events such as yesterday’s.
Wherever Christina is I hope she has no such fears or doubts…and is at peace.