“It was illmatic how he did it.”
In a recent interview with 247HH, Elzhi recalls collaborating with Dilla on the 2004 song, “Concrete Eyes,” and witnessing the impossible speed of his production method. According to the Detroit rapper, Dilla arrived in a limo and had his chauffeur double as a roadie, setting up the producer’s various machines for the session. And, like many accounts of witnessing Dilla’s uncanny proficiency, Elzhi was floored by Dilla’s speed. “I saw this man make a beat in five minutes that I feel like is gonna last for the test of time.”
READ: How J Dilla’s Relationship with a Now-Shuttered Detroit Strip Club Inspired His Creative Process
Elzhi goes on to describe the mechanics of the moment, explaining how Dilla looked to the sky and plucked a sample out of his head after laying down the drum pattern for the song. “It was illmatic how he did it,” the rapper exclaims, still visibly stunned by the recollection. Towards the end of the clip, Elz adds a few short stories about the late Baatin, who, due to his notoriously terrible eyesight, was never to be trusted behind the wheel of a car. Go figure.
Watch Elzhi recall watching J Dilla cook at record pace below.