House Shoes, Detroit’s hip-hop ambassador to the world, comes back with a next video off his highly-rated LP Let It Go, the dreamy “Castles” featuring Jimetta Rose on vocals and a sublime Jermaine Jackson chop on the beat. Watch the video–directed by Greg Ponstingl (Okayplayer’s first-ever cameraman, I’m told) and dedicated to the memory of J-1–below to get your blue sky on. Then hit the jump to read House Shoes reminisce about his first encounter with another fallen homie (named J Dilla) from an interview with L+T which also hit the cybernet today. Let It Go is out now, purchase here via iTunes.
L+T: How did you meet J Dilla and what made him special?
HS: We met in 1994 while I was working at Street Corner Music. He was looking for records and we struck up a conversation. After work I linked up with him and I got in his white Ford Ranger and he popped this tape in. That shit changed the whole game. It was just like the first time I heard hip-hop. It was the best shit that I ever heard and it was from my city. We had to cram it down the throats of as many people as possible.
He was a scientist and was put on this earth to create music. When Pete Rock and CL Smooth’s Mecca & The Soul Brother came out, that changed the whole landscape of hip-hop for me. But when Dilla came on the scene it was the next level. Before I heard Dilla, Pete Rock was Jesus Christ to me. It’s funny how Dilla has come to be the greatest influence on his own greatest influences. He could do what any producer could do and 99% of the time he could do it better. But when you flip the coin, they couldn’t do what he did. All these amazing beats were done in 15 minutes. The first beat I ever saw him make was “Get A Hold” off of [A Tribe Called Quest's] Beats, Rhymes & Life album. Imagine that being the first beat you saw someone make? What’s more crazy is that he did it in 12 minutes and was getting frustrated because it was taking too long.