Sunday, April 11, 2010
Proof & Dilla
A lot of people don't know how close Proof and J. Dilla were. Back in the early-to-mid-90's these two Detroit favorites started working together closely on various projects ranging from Proof solo material to songs for Proof's group 5 Ela to the hush-hush never to see the light of day due-group they had together, F.C. ("Funky Cowboys"). Seeing these two guys in a room together was always quite a treat, they communicated with very few words but always seemed like they knew something that you didn't- like they were in on some kind of joke or secret that you would never find out about...
Jaydee, as Dilla was then known, began working as a producer with the likes of The Pharcyde, A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul while continuing as a member of Slum Village. During the same period, Proof continued his hosting duties as the reigning battle champion of The Hip-Hop Shop while recording with 5 Ela and hatching the plans for D 12. Because they all had so much other stuff going on, a lot of the material that they created together never saw the light of day.
I was such a huge fan of Slum Village, Dilla and Proof/5 Ela that any time I could get my hands on it I would dub cassettes of their material. Fortunately, I saved it all. A couple of years back I began digitizing it, and have just kept it close for personal listening pleasure. The sound quality varies, but the quality of the actual material remains high. A sign of what could have been had Dilla and Proof ever had the opportunity to create a full-length project together.
I've decided that the world needs to hear some of this stuff. So, what better time to share it then now, on the anniversary of the loss of our dear friend, inspiration and the unofficial Mayor of Detroit: Big Proof. My current plan is to release a song every year around this time. Below, check out Proof's "On The Go" produced by and featuring J. Dilla. We miss you, P.