Saturday, February 25, 2012

"A Month Of Donuts: Day 13 Featuring @YungMiss (J.Dilla Tribute)" via THETAPEDECK

Recently, I was asked by a staff member at "THE TAPE DECK "to write a piece on the influence of producer/artist J. Dilla on myself as an artist/producer. Just thought I'd share the article with you guys! You can check it out at or just read it in it's entirety below.

"Yung Miss is the first lady to appear in our Month Of Donuts series. This young west-side artist sings,song writes, producer, the list goes on and she also is a dilla head. After the jump she vividly tells the story on how she became acquainted with J.Dilla and his music. Very deep and pure. I enjoyed it and i’m sure you will as well.

Yung Miss on J Dilla:

I fell in love with J.Dilla over a decade ago. I was pretty handy with a computer at a very young age and downloading music was a big hobby of mine at the time. Whenever a new song hit the radio, I’d rush home after school to download it and burn it to a CD so I could pop it in my CD player and listen to it on repeat all day. I remember the first time I heard a beat by J. Dilla. It was in the year 2000 around July and I had just turned 10 years old maybe a month earlier. I was riding home from school with a friend and a new song came on the radio. I instantly felt myself vibin’ with the radio and the music just relaxed me after a long day of grammar and arithmetic. When the song went off, the DJ announced that it was a new joint from Common called “The Light” off of his new album “Like Water For Chocolate”. Two minutes later, I was home and rushing inside the house so I could search for the song and listen to it. After the download finished, I must have played the song over and over and over. It was definitely one of my favorite songs of the year.

Six years later, at age 16, I started writing lyrics after being introduced to the idea of the “instrumental”. I began downloading beats from all types of songs I’d heard on the radio over the past years. One day I ran across an instrumental tape for Common’s “Like Water For Chocolate” on a hip-hop blog site and immediately downloaded it. I remember going through the beats on the tape to check out what exactly I had just downloaded and when I got to Track 5, there it was! “The Light” …. I let it play all the way through. The beat just did something to me mentally and physically. I liked it so much that I decided to not even write to it. I enjoyed it, best, in its natural form with no vocals on it. So, after awhile I got a little curious and asked myself, “Who made this beat?!” I quickly opened Google search and typed in “Common “The Light” produced by” and pressed enter. After reading the Wikipedia page for the track info, I saw that it was produced by a cat by the name of “Jay Dee”. I had never heard of him but I knew from that day I’d be a fan. From that day on, the rest was history.

I started looking up all things “Jay Dee” (who I found out, was also known by the name J. Dilla) on Youtube, Google, Hip hop blogs, etc. From the beginning, I was always impressed by the effect J. Dilla’s music had on my mind, body, & soul. I was always able to put on a J. Dilla beat and relax. His style was unlike anything I had heard before but had always wanted to hear. Even though I enjoyed writing lyrics, I always decided against writing to any of J. Dilla’s beats. They were like art to me and, as a novice in the game, I was nervous to “add my colors” to what I already considered “a masterpiece”. Instead, I was inspired to begin producing my own “instrumentals”. J. Dilla inspired me to make my own “masterpieces”.

Over the years, my collection of J. Dilla instrumentals tripled in number and I realized that I hadn’t heard any of his albums. I then started downloading all his mixtapes, albums, singles….All that! To this day I am determined to collect his entire discography. Listening to his albums inspired me to finally try and write to some of his beats and the experience has resulted in an EP I hope to release during Spring Break 2012 called “The J. Dilla Project” . It’s going to be a small collection of songs written by me, but inspired by the creativity of J. Dilla through production and composition. I feel like his music allows me to express myself in a way that I’ve always wanted to but was never able to with other “beats” and “instrumentals”.

If there is one thing I learned from Dilla, it’s the “fact” that as an artist, producer, writer, or as a human being in general, you are building a “legacy” for yourself. How will you be remembered when your life has come to an end? Everytime I think about the loss of J. Dilla, I find myself getting emotional but I’m comforted by the fact that even though the hip-hop community lost him in the physical sense, Dilla will live on forever through his music, the “legacy” he built for himself, and the generations of artist and producers he will continue to inspire. So with that being said, “Long Live Dilla” and let’s get back to the music!

- Yung Miss" (via/ THE TAPE DECK )

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