Music

Mad Skillz Restores An Old J Dilla Beat Tape The Producer Once Gave Him

The J Dilla beat tape includes instrumental versions of “It’s Goin’ Down,” “The Jam,” and “Runnin’.”

Mad Skillz recently restored a beat tape the late J Dilla once gave to him. On Monday, Skillz posted about the tape on his Instagram account.

On his Instagram story he proceeded to play the beats that were on the tape, which included instrumental versions of “It’s Goin’ Down,” “The Jam,” and “Runnin’.”

Skillz talked about the tape, as well as meeting Dilla through Q-Tip, during an appearance on Drink Champs back in April. He recalled how he passed on the beats for “Runnin’,” “Somethin’ That Means Somethin’,” and “Drop,” before ultimately choosing the beats for what became “The Jam” and “It’s Goin’ Down,” which he paid $3,000 a piece for.

“I remember we was in the studio mixing and [Dilla] was like, ‘I’ll never forget this. I don’t care if I ever get as big as Dr. Dre, you’ll always be able to get me for three bands a song,'” Skillz said.

Earlier this year, Dilla’s mother, Maureen Yancey, shared that she plans on releasing more of the producer’s unreleased material from The Lost Scrolls, as well as tracks she was given from Detroit’s Studio A vaults.

“What I’m excited about is the fact that, in the early days, Dilla didn’t do a lot of sampling,” said of the unreleased Studio A material. “He did a lot of playing himself, just like when he did the Frank N Dank 48 Hours stuff. There’s so much more. And so Illa J and I are just waiting but trying to figure out how to do this.”

Elijah C. Watson

Elijah Watson serves as Okayplayer's News & Culture Editor. When he's not writing he's listening to Sade and crying or watching My Hero Academia with his partner.

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