J Dilla Details His Musical Roots and Sampling Inspirations in Unearthed Hour-Long 2003 Interview

“My father? I’m picking up where his dreams stopped.”

The late J Dilla opened up about his Detroit roots and his many families (musical and biological) in a 2003 interview that’s only just returned to the web.

WATCH: J Dilla Takes The Stage with Madlib in Newly-Surfaced 2005 Concert Footage

Republished by P3 in celebration of the German journalist’s 40th year in the game, the interview traces his story out from a deeply musical household in the Motor City, where good behavior was rewarded with a trip to the record store; the infancy of a legendary collection. He speaks on his father’s years writing and recording in the fledgling moments of Motown’s proliferation, contributing to classics from the powerhouse roster, and thinks of himself as a direct extension of that legacy. Moving on to his iconic and irreplicable sampling theories, Dilla claims to have been floored by Fela, but had only discovered the Afrobeat pioneer as he was chopping him for Common‘s Like Water For Chocolate and Electric Circus albums three or four years prior to the interview.

READ: J Dilla’s Influence & Legacy Lives On in the World of Lo-Fi Hip-Hop

Hear J Dilla paint a portrait of his musical upbringing and sampling inspirations in the freshly-unearthed hour-long chat with P3 down below. Comb through the journalist’s countless interviews (with MF DOOM, Usher, Anderson .Paak, Ice Cube, and so many more) via Sveriges Radio.


Zo is a staff writer at Okayplayer where he covers music.

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