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November 30, 2008



One of my favorite Artists, INSA has created A special T-Shirt for the good folks over at A Tribe Called Next. The catch is that they were made in extremely limited quantities. So far we have only been able to come across two different color-ways, One is very reminiscent of the African Flag(s) or "A Tribe Called Quest" Logo somewhat, and the Other kinda reminds me of The Hobbyshop Hero website color scheme. At any rate there are only 20 of each color so if you want to get your hands on one of either be sure make to keep checking INSA’s blog for updates as he mentions something about a possible contest?!?!.


Coffee Anyone?

You're Welcome =)


November 24, 2008

[VIBES and Stuff] NOV 08 Selection | NEW HSH SEGMENT!

Vibes and stuff November '08 Selection

Click Here To Listen

[click here to subscribe on iTunes]

"More new music for you, hope you like. please folks, if you like what you hear, TELL SOMEONE!!! I do this only because I love music and want to share it with ya'll, so why not help me spread that love? hasta la proxima..."



Bastien Keb - Smith Rhythmical Strut

School Of Seven Bells - Iamundernodisguise

Black Milk - Give The Drummer Sum

Mike Slott - Deux Three f/ Muhsinah

King Midas Sound - One Ting (Dabrye Remix)

American Men - Ammn Sys M1

The Invisible - Monster's Waltz (Micachu Remix)

Gang Gang Dance - House Jam

Palmstruck - Spoiled By Sampha (Sampha Remix)

Hudson Mohawke - Star Crackout

Little Dragon - Fortune

Zetroc - Numbered Waste


Words from the HERO

Peace, I have been meaning to do this for a few months now and I figured why put off for tomorrow what can be done today. (but 1st A little back story)

When I was growing up. My portal to hiphop was "RAP CITY" after School, YO MTV RAPS for those 2 hours a week at the latest time possible, and also A Local Public Radio Station WMNF 88.5 which was hosted by Kenny K (R.I.P.) and then right when I began listening A new voice by the name of MAD LYNX (who later became the host of BET)... Back in the early, mid nineties, Id get mix tapes from Tony Touch, WHO kid, etc....when they were dope... I also had an Advantage most didn't, and that was I could record audio from the TV... this was back when the technology wasn't meant for what I used it for. but it made me quite popular because I always had the newest songs on Tapes as soon as the videos would drop.

Year's Later I moved on to Collecting Vinyl, Trading and Collaborating with Majik Most, Mr Reference & The Man In Black... The Pause Tape Mixes ran out of Control.... (I'm in the process of unpacking my new home, I will post A Continuation post with pictures explaining the amount of mixes made over the years) So FAN, turned Emcee, Turned Emcee & Producer, Turned ONE MAN ARMY! hahahaha.... Turned Super Dork!!! hehe

The Reason I even mentioned any of that is because of this very special post. The world is in A very Digital state right now..... 2008 has been the year alot of people have finally embraced and accepted that Technology is going to keep upgrading and advancing forcing everything and everyone to try to keep up. Well just when I thought my beloved mixtapes were being replaced by digital downloads...just when I thought the Radio was being taken over by the same 10 songs on repeat, and just as I thought all videos would be replaced by reality tv shows......

A new ERA is upon us....... and it is a wonderful thing. For anyone who thinks hiphop or music in general isnt at an all time Classic stage right now.... They just dont have a Clue where to turn to.... and that is why I am going to do my best to bring the Lake with the fishes in it, to the fishermen/women......

by that I mean, There are sooooo many dope websites, Radioshows, Blogs, Podcasts etc...and not everyone has the time nor the desire as I do to hunt them down...So from now on. When my favorite, Radioshow/mixtape/podcast's are updated I am going to post it up here with links to each Individual site that is being featured... Also A good thing would be to "Trust our Taste" and spend ample time visiting my friends in the links section. they truely are the best of the best.


There are Literally countless sites that host some of the dopest mixes from the most talented producers, Dj's, etc........

I will Start this Segment off with my most downloaded and listened to PODCAST, VIBESandSTUFF, The episode I have posted I have yet to peep, but I assure you it will be Amazing. I Truely hope that by doing this, the word will spread and the sites featured will gain all the loyal ears they deserve.

Peace & Enjoy.

DUTCH HERO THE HOBBYSHOP MASSIVE....OR uhh something like that.

November 19, 2008


[You can, preview|Listen|Purchase the EP by clicking the photo Above or clicking on your favorite digital music pusher below]
"Dream Catcher EP: an episode set in the demented imagination of up-and-coming producer/beatsmith, 00Genesis. Drawing from various styles and genres, 00Genesis manages to create a quirky yet lovable album, that at times will leave the listener thinking, "what the f*ck!" Mangled melodies, heavy drums and surreal sound-scapes set the emotive tone for this album; an album which can easily be the soundtrack for a hopeless romantic, or a pothead. Tracks such as "Early Bird" and the title track,"Dream Catcher" force the listener to submerge beneath the sounds and piece together an intuitive experience. Clocking in at approximately 21 minutes, "Dream Catcher" is only a glimpse of what "00" has in store. Look out!"

Cryptic Dream by 00Genesis

The Video Above was created by an Amazing artist named (VERVUE). I would go into more, but I am going to be doing an entire post surrounding his Art soon.
Until then check out his work at .....
http://www.myspace.com/vervue <---



It is w/ great pleasure I get to share w/ you the fine works of the mysterious beatsmith known as 00Genesis. What 1st drew me to this cat was the character in which has now been solidified as ()()GENESIS. I have no Idea what this cat looks like, nor do I care, nor does it matter as his beats are super dope. Altho for all I know Him could be A Her?!?!?!?! hmmmmm Nah, Im pretty Sure this SuperProducer is A Man. As I once had a common trait with MF DOOM, Now Joins the ranks is Double 0h, and for those who have no IDEA what the heck I am Talking about. I will somewhat hint at it.

THE HOBBYSHOP HERO started as an ALTER EGO/ALIAS for DUTCHMASSIVE - I WOULD ROCK A MASK [EVERYWHERE] AND BATTLE CATS AND I WOULD NEVER TAKE OFF THE MASK. THIS WAS WELL WAY BEFORE MFDOOM BECAME POPULAR AND KNOWN FOR HIS MASK MORE THAN HIS MUSIC. for those True Dutchmassive Fans who picked up the JUNKPLANET ALBUM - which was created from 1997 - 2002, you will know EXACTLY what MASK i speak of. It was Displayed in the Foldout Artwork in a picture next to my Walkman, My fathers Jazz Drumsticks, My baby T shirt, ETC.... In Fact!!!! Give me A Second and lemme see if I can actually find this ish...(Pause)...........Ok, Im back....I found it.....So, I'll go ahead and post it up at the end of the post. YOU just make sure you check out the DREAM CATCHER EP.... WITHOUT A DOUBT.... My Favorite joint is BUTTON MASHING!!!!!!... That track ended up on a few Guest mixes I did, which I will get to in another post =) Also, try to find a track by 00Genesis called "Bicycle" or "bike" hmmm not sure.... ish is AMAZING THO.... ok Im GHOST!!!

November 18, 2008

Barack Obama launches weekly YouTube broadcasts

Barack Obama, President-Elect of the United States, has introduced his own 21st-century version of the presidential "fireside chat" by launching a regular weekly broadcast on YouTube.

"The first broadcast, which aired on the video-sharing website on Saturday, focused heavily on the current global financial crisis, and has already been viewed by almost 700,000 people.

Obama made good use of the internet and modern technology throughout his election campaign, using social networking sites, Twitter, iPhone applications and text messaging to get the vote out. He was rarely seen without his BlackBerry, the mobile email device he may be forced to surrender following security concerns.

Obama has expressed a desire to be the first "internet president". He is in the process of creating a new role within his administration, that of chief technology officer.

The encumbent will be responsible for a wide-ranging remit, managing everything from online child safety to resolving the battle for net neutrality.

Obama is also likely to introduce a laptop computer to the Oval office, and use the web as well as traditional technologies to engage with the electorate.

It will be a marked change from the regimes of outgoing president George W. Bush, who admitted to finding it hard to keep up with modern technology.

Obama's wish to embrace the web has echoes of another president, Franklin D Roosevelt, who embraced the emerging technology of his time, the radio, to make a weekly address from the White House, complete with roaring log fire in the background"



During the election I spent minimal time on politics but utilized those brief moments for maximum Exposure & Benefits. I was careful not to stand on any side of the fence but rather use my stance as an Artist, Writer, etc. to promote voting in general and being proactive an progressive rather than just sitting back and hoping things turn out the way you wish.

Now that the election is over, I feel I can finally voice my opinion without fear of swaying or influencing someones elses thoughts.

I am very Excited for the future, I do not expect any handouts or any drastic change in fact I feel that there are gonna be some tuff times ahead and our president elect will be tested many times over before he gains true support from those that didnt vote for him or where unsure. Personally I feel that there is a whole new state of mind, and whole shift in Generation in the white house now and its more than exciting that our President and/or his handlers and council are so Tech Savy.


I figured Id put together some of the T-shirts that were released leading up and during the the Camplain / Election - Alot of my favorite Brands are featured via KARMA LOOP

you can get 20% off anything you order by entering the Recode


Peace, and PEACE!!!!



Click Here to see all of my Top Picks on Karmaloop!

November 17, 2008


Peace, While listening to this dope MIKE SLOTT mix on MARY ANN HOBBS show, I thought.... You know? Gilles peterson, Mary Ann Hobbs, The List Continues.... Lemme check out the BBC page..... Which brought me to stumbling upon this unique App.

I posted this for a few Reasons.

1.) It's dope! (Click it, check the shows because I guarantee they are probably what you've been searching for your whole life)

oh dont worry, Ive been saving my PRODUCER post for a special day, and it is coming soon.
I will give you fair notice, When I Post the List of
ARTISTS/PRODUCERS to Check, there will be aloooooot Of names you dont reconize...... I advise you now! DO NOT SLEEP, CHECK THEM ALL OUT!!!!!

But we will Cross that bridge when we get to it? Right?....... RIGHT RIGHT!!!! hahahah

Aiight Dudes and Dudettes. Im Ghost like "Insert overused punchline here"


November 16, 2008


2K Sports Bounce Tour Information


The 4th annual Bounce Tour is the latest in 2K Sports’ series of live events celebrating the convergence of music, sports and video game culture. With scheduled appearances in over 15 different cities across the country from November 13th – December 6th*, the Bounce Tour will once again be headlined by legendary hip-hop artist, Q-Tip (from A Tribe Called Quest), supported by his live band which includes the renowned DJ Scratch (from EPMD). The popular duo, The Cool Kids, will also be performing new material and other banging hits.

Q-Tip, who reunited with A Tribe Called Quest for the 2006 Bounce Tour, returns this year with hip-hop pioneers EPMD's DJ Scratch to perform new tracks from his upcoming solo album, The Renaissance, along with other classics.

The Cool Kids, who have already partnered with 2K Sports on a variety of efforts including recording an exclusive track titled “2K Pennies” and having playable in-game characters, will perform as the opening act on the tour. Download the 2K Pennies track for free at www.2ksports.com/coolkids.

In addition to the live music performances, the Bounce Tour will provide fans with an exciting opportunity to play the latest games by 2K Sports, check out different visual vignettes of games displayed throughout the show, and receive exclusive gear and other exciting giveaways.

See full tour schedule at www.2ksports.com/bouncetour.

*The Tour dates in Aspen (11/7), Denver (11/8), Portland (11/10) and Seattle (11/11) have been cancelled. The show in Chicago has been rescheduled to 12/6.


THE HOBBYSHOP HERO | DUTCHMASSIVE will be Scouting the CROWD for the LADIES and GENTLEMEN who SEEM to be ENJOYING the Music The Most... As I ALWAYS do and Have, I will have my Street Team with me All with the same goal. GIVE FREE MUSIC TO THOSE WHO ACTUALLY SEEM like they would ENJOY & APPRECIATE IT.
So my advice to you, Is Enjoy yourself.

We All know my Favorite Album of All Time is "MIDNIGHT MARAUDERS" by A TRIBE CALLED QUEST and my Favorite Musician of all time is Q-TIP.

Well, this will be my 1st time EVER catching TIP LIVE! and I gotta Say, Im more Excited then ive ever been. I am also A Huge Fan of Chuck and Mikey (THE COOL KIDS) So you Better Believe, My good mood is going to Flood and Pour out into me passing out over a 1,000 free Disks.... PROJECT:REACH!


I will be posting Pictures | VIDEOS | from the show in this post as well as a new one.



Nike Air Classic BW - 'Nintendo Edition'

Nike just released an exclusive style of the Nike Air Classic BW. The colorway is inspired by the original NES console, Dark grey & A neutral grey with a dash of red, like the (A) & (B) buttons you spent 80% of your childhood mashing your right thumbs into. oh yea, we Cant forget the Black Sole, and if you look closely you can see A pattern of the D-pad as well as the red START.

Can I be honest? we all know Im All for anything NES related, but I think these are pretty boring. In an age of top notch designs and above average creation. The NIKE NINTENDO EDITION just doesnt really get me excited. who knows maybe ill change my mind when I try a pair on.

Nike Air Classic BW ‘Nintendo Edition

Nike Air Classic BW - 'Nintendo Edition'


sneakerpimps.jpgI thought you guys (and gals) would enjoy that tho, I thought it was pretty ill. aiiiight well. Im off. dont forget to tell a few friends about this place.... I do it for you! hahaha If you think im wasting time and should stick to just making music shoot me a note telling me so! (ILoveDutchmassive@gmail.com)


One of my Favorite's Atmos Collab's with one of the 1st Brands I remember when it comes to staying warm, The North Face. So far they have teamed up to create three new jackets. The Scoop, Versa Air, and the Hyvent Raintex jacket.

As time passes you might be able to scoop these up at your favorite Streetwear Botique, but for now head on over to the Atmos’ website.




Peace, Peace... I know this isnt A new joint by far. I just happen to come across it and thought about all the people I know who have been laid off the past 5 months, all the people with great backgrounds and degree's and stunning resumes and then I thought about all the people with half ass work histroy etc..... Crazyness

I just turn 28 in MAY, Ive always been employed since the age of 14, I released my 1st single on vinyl at age 17 which was EQUILIBRIUM (CELPH TITLED, MAJIKMOST & MYSELF, DUTCHMASSIVE) The single was "Fahrenheit 813" b/w "Windows 98" & "Critical Conditions" (feat. The Boogiemonsters) Even as I worked on music FULL TIME, I also Held down A 9 - 5, Then I was working at VERIZON WIRELESS in 03 and thats when I cracked the code to the MATRIX and ever since, Its been A Crazy battle to stay employed.... A few songs helped me get into this mode along with watching the movie "office space"....some of the tracks were Little Brother "Speed", Surreal "The American Dream", there were a bunch at the time....

JULY of 2005 I was Working at a Morgage Company and I had A show with Digable Planets that Night, Well I didnt get to make my show sequence, So what did I end up doing? I walked over to the copy machine with a Blank piece of Paper, Make 300 copies of that Blank paper, Walked out the Building Called DJ BALANCE (SPITKICKER DJ) and Went home and Finished my show Sequence.... That Night I Rocked the Show, Sold out of all of my Product, and didnt have a job to go back to.....

I recently Did a Song called Butterflies...... Well, She just left me...... BROKE EMCEE / PRODUCER cant Hold A JOB.... You know The M.O.

So its with great Pleasure I post this Video for you.

I also want to set the tone for my upcoming album.


November 8, 2008

ILLA J - 3 Seperate Interviews on Beats Rhymes & Life after Dilla

33````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````THE HOBBYSHOP HERO presents... TIME TRAVELING W/ ILLA J.

Pe@ce Wizerld, I got a chance to Listen to the "Yancey boys" record over the week and I have nothing but good things to say. Unfortunately those good things are about the Vibe of the Album and not Illa J himself. I will make this clear, I really feel like John Yancey has A lot of love for music, he is a super Fan and he has a great soul and knows what Classic hip hop should sound like. (at least in my opinion) However, I do feel that because of his ties to his brother, (R.I.P.) The Late James Yancey, Jay Dee, Dilla, John, or Illa J has gotten Alot of Publicity, and by no means am I dissing duke or hating. I just feel as an Artist / Emcee he hasnt developed Enough to be releasing A Full Length album. I personally feel he should have Sat on those joints untill he became a little more comfortable on the mic. The Reason I even decided to bring this up is because Every single person I try to get to pick up the Illa J album has the same rebuttle as to why they wont purchase it. "Illa sounds unproffesional" - I wish nothing but great things for duke and Im very grateful that he dropped the style of album he did. He could have chosen to take the Buzz he has and go a Commercial Direction, or use Dilla's Hitek, Electro Bangers, but he chose the dopest, most soulful, mellow tracks.. and for that I know that in his heart he has Potential to be great. I just hope he takes the time to master his craft.

I wanted to see what A Interview from 2007 with Illa J was like Compared to A Interview done around the release of YANCEY BOYS (dropped 11/04/08). Below are Two Seperate Interviews done by different people at different times, One being my homie RYAN PROCTOR & the other being MICKEY MCFLY. I hope you enjoy the Read and Decide to pick up this record.

While your reading the Lengthy interviews, why not listen to A few tracks from my Sophomore LP "Crush Your System" - The CD Version will be Released soon on DOMINATION RECORDINGS in A Very Special Limited Pressing with A whole New Layout and Extra Tracks.
Until then..........

Illa J Interview (Originally Posted On UKHH.Com Oct 9th 2007)

Interviewed by Ryan Proctor

The loss of a loved one can impact those left behind in many different ways. In the case of 20-year-old John ‘Illa J’ Yancey, the tragic death last year of his older brother, producer J Dilla, motivated the aspiring beat master to start chasing his dreams.

Born into a musical Detroit family, the youngest of the Yancey clan watched as his big bro climbed the hip-hop career ladder one dope track at a time, ascending from underground Motor City talent to being considered one of the greatest producers of all-time by the global rap audience. When Dilla lost his lengthy battle with the lupus disease last February, Illa J decided to turn personal tragedy into triumph, making moves towards his own music career while honouring his talented sibling every step of the way. In April 2006 Illa was asked by live band Guerrilla Funk Mob to perform Dilla’s rhymes at a Detroit tribute show, a concept which was taken on the road soon after for a European tour. The young Yancey was also seen appearing as his brother’s likeness in the video to ‘Won’t Do’, a track lifted from Dilla’s posthumously released BBE album ‘The Shining’.

Having dropped out of university and relocated to Los Angeles in order to further his plans, it’s clear that Illa J is serious about leaving his mark on the hip-hop landscape. Currently putting the finishing touches to a debut album that will see Illa both producing and rhyming, he’s also working on projects with former Dilla-associates such as Guilty Simpson and Phat Kat, as well as filling the void left by his brother in the Cake Boys collective, which also counts Frank-N-Dank as members.

In London for a few days recently, UKHH met up with a humble but determined Illa J at his Camden hotel to talk about Dilla’s legacy, musical influences, and the need to be original.

Turn it up!

Considering you were substantially younger than Dilla, at what point did you actually realise that your brother was a producer?

There wasn’t really a particular point when I realised that my brother was a producer because music was something he’d always been doing while I was growing up. I’d go to bed at night and he’d be working on something and then I’d wake up in the morning to go to school and his music would still be playing (laughs). My parents were musicians as well so music was just something I was used to being around and it was a natural thing to me.

Was there a moment though when you realised that the music your brother had been working on in your family home was actually having an impact across the world?

The first time I saw the video to The Pharcyde’s ‘Drop’ on TV I was like, ‘Oh damn! My brother did that.’ Then the ‘Runnin’ song blew-up for them as well. But at that point I was still so used to Dilla being involved in music that it really didn’t register with me how many people were actually out there hearing what he was doing. It was until after Dilla passed and I did a tour in Europe that I really saw the impact of what he did. It was just amazing to me that I was all the way out in another country and yet my brother had touched so many people in these different places with his music. That’s when I really felt the impact of what he’d achieved. It was crazy to see that but it also gave me a sense of closure and comfort knowing that so many other people had love for my brother and that his memory will always stay alive because of that.

When did you decide to get involved in making music yourself?

I always wanted to do music from when I was younger, but at that point in my life I was worrying too much about what other people would think. Beings as my brother was so exceptional at what he did, I didn’t want to get into it because of all the pressure that would come from being Dilla’s brother. But after he passed I realised that life is short and that I should just do what I love to do, which is make music. Plus, I felt it was my responsibility to help keep my brother’s legacy alive and try to take it to the next level where it deserves to be.

How would you describe the Detroit sound?

All of the music comes from the surroundings. If you’ve ever been to Detroit it’s like there’s a feeling there that influences all of the music that comes out of the city. It’s a hard thing to try and explain, but there’s a soulful sound in Detroit that comes from back in the Motown days, but then there’s also a hardness to what we do which comes from the environment people are living in today.

Do you have a particular approach to making beats?

For me, it just comes naturally. At the end of the day, I don’t like to force anything. If I have an idea I’ll work on it, but if I don’t have an idea on a particular day I won’t sit down and try to push something out. It just so happens that ideas do come to me a whole lot (laughs). I mean, I write songs all the time. I was at the Prince concert here in London last night and I wrote a song while I was sitting waiting for him to come onstage. Whenever an idea comes to me I’ll try and put it down right then because I like to let the creativity flow and let it be natural. I’m on the edge of so many different musical genres with what I do but it still has that hip-hop feel to it. The one thing that all great recording artists have in common is that whenever they put out a new album, you don’t know exactly what to expect, but you know it’s going to be something fresh and exciting. A true artist isn’t afraid to try new things. I mean, if you look at what my brother did, he reinvented his sound a number of times. The early music he made as Jay-Dee sounds different to what he did as Dilla, which sounds different to the Dill Withers stuff that came out on ‘Donuts’. That’s what music is about to me, just letting your creativity flow in whatever direction it wants to go in.

What prompted your decision to move from Detroit to Los Angeles and how has that influenced your creativity?

The first time I went to LA I was visiting my brother while he was out there and I loved the place from that point on. After Dilla passed I wanted to move out there because he’d lived out there and I wanted to follow in my brother’s footsteps. I think it was the right move for me to make and it really helped me deal with Dilla’s passing. Plus, I feel so much better out there than when I’m in Detroit. When I go back to Detroit, almost as soon as I land I can feel how stressful it is there. Also, there’s a lot going on in Detroit that distracts me from doing what I need to do. But in LA I feel totally free and that’s how I think my mindset should be as an artist; I should be able to let my mind float freely and let all the creative juices go to work. Plus, in LA people get things done, whereas in Detroit a lot of people talk about doing things but don’t ever actually do them. It seems there’s more of an aggressive mind state in LA, compared to Detroit which can sometimes have something of a lazy atmosphere.

Aside from your brother, who were your musical influences growing-up?

Well, as with Dilla, my musical influences really start with my mom and dad. They had a jazz acapella group and would always rehearse in our living room. That’s really how I got my musical ear from watching and listening to my parents. The first actual artist’s music I remember listening to was James Brown. After that, I’d say my other influences would be Michael Jackson, Prince, Stevie Wonder, Sam Cooke, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Zapp & Roger Troutman, Nirvana. I have very broad musical tastes, so it’s hard for me to name all of my musical influences. But as far as right now, I’m loving The White Stripes and Amy Winehouse. I listen to everything.

You’ve mentioned a lot of older artists there as influences which isn’t something that’s particularly common amongst younger artists today, particularly in hip-hop. Do you think it’s important to have an overall awareness of those musicians who’ve come before you?

Yeah, I definitely think that’s important. You should know the history of the music you’re getting into and where it came from. That can only help in what you do because it enables you to appreciate the music more.

As Dilla’s brother, do you think people will only expect a certain sound from you and do you feel pressured to conform to those expectations?

I feel comfortable putting out whatever I want to put out, with respect to what people expect from me as Dilla’s brother. I mean, my brother told me to just do me and that’s exactly what I’m going to do. Whether other people like it or not, at the end of the day I have to like the music I put out otherwise there wouldn’t be any real purpose to it. It’s crucial for me to feel what I’m doing myself before I even let anyone else hear it. But when people ask me about comparisons to my brother I always tell them, there will only ever be one J Dilla, and when I come out it’ll be as myself, Illa J. If I was going to say anything about myself as an artist, it’s that I’m original. Everything that I do comes from the heart.

Are you getting a lot of support from those artists Dilla worked with himself?

It’s weird because although I do get respect for what I’m doing, the Detroit crowd still see me like ‘Ohh, it’s Dilla’s little brother’ (laughs). So in a way I’m looking at that as a challenge to come out and prove myself to them because I don’t think the Detroit crowd really get it yet (laughs). But the people I’ve already worked with definitely have respect for me as an artist first and foremost. At the end of the day, I don’t want to build my career just off of being Dilla’s brother. I want people to be able to look beyond that and see me as an artist.

If there was one album throughout history you could’ve been involved in as a producer what would it be?

It would have to be Michael Jackson’s ‘Off The Wall’ album because every time I listen to it I can hear all the hard work they put into it, but at the same time you can tell they were having fun with the music as well. Like on ‘Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough’ and ‘Workin’ Day And Night’, they’re playing with glass bottles, shakers, anything they could get their hands on (laughs). That whole album has got such a good feeling to it and its energy is timeless.

If we were to sit down again in five years time, what one career goal would you want to have achieved?

Honestly, all those BET awards and everything are cool, but I want some Grammies on my shelf (laughs). I have such a strong passion for music and I want to share that with as many people as possible.


Illa J Interview (Originally Posted On MIKEYMCFLY.Com Oct 27th 2008)

LINK to MIKEY MCFLY'S website and the Original interview

Mikey McFly: What's good with you?

Illa J: Aww nothing just you know, staying on my craft, you know just pretty much moving forward with the music.

Mikey McFly: Let's get down to it, how is your upcoming album, Yancey Boys, coming along and what brought about the concept for that project?

Illa J: Well first it came out like really dope, in a sense I expected it a certain way, and actually it turned out better than I thought it would turn out and I exceeded my expectations, but as far as how the project came about, I know a lot of people think I already had the beats and just kind of went in and did an album but Delicious Vinyl actually already had the tracks. Like all the tracks on the album were made from 95-98, so like 10 to 13 years ago and I met Mike Ross, the president of Delicious vinyl, last spring in April of '07 or maybe before that and he gave me a CD with like 38 tracks, those were tracks that my brother did between 95-98, tracks he did for Pharcyde and remixes for Delicious Vinyl. At that time, he didn't even know I did music and and he told me to pick a track and let's see what turns out. The next time I saw him was January '08 and I let him listen to a song that I wrote about December 13, 2007, when I went to see Stevie at the Nokia center. I mean, it's Stevie and I was so inspired [by his performance] that I eventually started teaching myself piano. A week after that I wrote my first song on piano I contacted Mike Ross and told him about it. I was like "You got to hear this song!" In February '08 I played him the song on the motif that I wrote he said "oh man thats dope" and I played him some more joints and he wanted me to play at some clubs and on that thursday, which happened to be my brother's birthday I performed the songs. Originally the project was going to be compilation with all the artist my brother has worked with but then it was decided that I should do the whole album and thats how it started.

Mikey McFly: The funny thing is after I heard your first single "We Here" and the joint "R U Listenin ?" with Guilty Simpson, I realized that those beats don't sound aged at all, almost as if he just made them.

Illa J: They are relevant and they are still ahead of their time.

Mikey McFly: My first introduction to you came by way of your appearance in J. Dilla's "Won't Do" video and after snooping around on the net, I came up on your EP. How long have you been creating music?

Illa J: Well the EP honestly wasn't really an EP at the time just a collection of songs. At that time I didn't have studio equipment and when I could use somebody else's studio, I'd go in and make some beats and create some joints pretty much to get some practice in . Practice makes perfect, you got to start somewhere with your craft. The EP was just me messing around with different machines. Music has been with me since I was brought into this world because of my family, music was always around, it was apart of the daily life in my household because everybody was a musician, everybody could sing and being from Detroit, everybody knows somebody who sings or does music, there are so many musicians in the city. I always knew growing up that I'd get into music whether it would be being an artist or on the business side. Before my brother passed, around the first two years of college I first realized that music would takeover and I couldn't help but to write . After he passed, I realized life is short and Feb 10, 2006 [Date of Dilla's passing], I knew everything was going to change.

Mikey McFly: My favorite track from that EP, that really wasn't an EP, was a track called "I Ain't Gonna Die". How did you start making beats?

Illa J: At that time, thats when I just got out to Cali, my mom would come out and we would stay at Common's crib. Eventually my boy Houseshoes from the D moved out here as well. He said he had the 2 and the 3 (MPC 2000 and 3000) , I asked to come over and get a little one on one with the machines. Coming up as an artist, I didn't really have the money to get studio time and I didn't have the room for a drum set. I just started with 3 and 2 and just started making beats at House shoes'. Thats kind of like my beginning stages, you could tell, I'm just messing with different kinds of sounds. Those were my first tracks and it was fun making them. You get geeked the first time you hear yourself recorded. eventually you find your own unique voice and understand the right pattern to sing or rhyme to.

Illa J - I Ain't Gonna Die

Mikey McFly: In your opinion, what are the advantages of being an emcee and producer?

Illa J: Well first, I produce a little bit but I see myself more as a songwriter. People get confused because they want me to produce for them but I'm more of a song writer with a vision of a producer. As soon as i make something I write to it. Eventually I'll start putting a band together when I start recording my tracks. The music ais orchestrated in my head and it would be dope to have a band to translate my vision.

Mikey McFly: It's almost like you want to play the role of Quincy Jones, almost like how he produced Michael Jackson's Off The Wall album.

Illa J: Yeah, I want to be on some Prince type shit. Right now I play bass, and piano. I'm going to start taking drum lessons this year. I have so many ideas and sometimes another person wont be able to express the ideas you have so why not learn to do it yourself.

Mikey McFly: The city of Detroit has made many contributions to music from Berry Gordy and Motown to Hip-Hop acts such as your brother, Royce Da 5'9", Eminem, Slum Village, etc. How do you plan to make your mark?

Illa J: I dont know how people look at Illa J, when I make my music I make its always from the heart and soul,because at the end of the day I can only be the best at what i do. Once the right producer comes along and helps my writing, things can progress. I want to be like my brother, just leave my mark as far as no matter what music you listen to, you know that it came from my heart. That's whats good about Delicious Vinyl, they allow me to truly be an artist and and on my album I'm freely expressing myself and there are no limits on what I can and can't do.

Mikey McFly: Alot of artists seem to forget how music should be made. At the end of day isn't about the materialism, it's all about coming from the heart.

Illa J: Like one thing I've learned as a writer, its already been songs written about everything but whats different is that if you have something to say thats from your heart and you put it on record its different because all through history you had songs with the same song titles and the same kind of song concepts. Perfect example was when I first came out here me and Shoes would have beat contests where we would try to flip the same record. His beat was what he got from the record and and when I made my beat thats how I expressed myself as an artist. In a sense of being original, you can't be anybody but you, and you have to be yourself as an artist.

Mikey McFly: What artists do you want to collaborate with in the near future?

Illa J: I definitely know when I schedule it, I want to work with Karriem Riggins, his sound goes with my songwriting style. The type of music he makes is funky. He's a polished drummer but he's funky and on the next album I definitely got to get a verse from Common.

Mikey McFly: I want to give you props on the AOL freestyle with Aaron Lacrate. We all know that freestyling is an essential part of rap and its good to see artists keep that tradition alive. What is your view on the current climate of hip-hop?

Illa J: To me Hip-hop never really left, its just not being put out there as much. Its wierd, because we need these times to appreciate on the music that we have. Honestly alot of this music is garbage and you appreciate when people do it for the love. I think overtime, artist will continue to do it from the heart and get back to how it should be done. When people do it from the heart, it becomes inspiring. I think over time will continue to just do it from the heart. We all go through our little recessions. Music went through many phases from funk then disco , to superpop in 80's. I think it's definitely going come back around to the liveness and the freshness, its not gonna be exactly like the golden era but you know its gonna be that live feeling, lets have some fun that lets rock the spot, what its really about, our escape from what we go through during the week. Like lets listen to Redman's Rock Da Spot, like thats the shit, for when i wanna vibe out, man its so fresh. "You can quote this, I'm the Moby Dick of dopeness..." It's not going to be exactly like it was, I mean even with the whole political shit, it takes these recessions and these hard times for us to learn how to be better the next time.

Mikey McFly: Your brother, Jay Dee, was one of hip-hop's greatest producers. I'm sure as his younger sibling you've been exposed to a great deal. What was the best lesson that you've learned.

Illa J: As far as from my pops he brought me up on straight up jazz and it made it easier to understand the rest of the genres . He put me on to all the acapella jazz groups His main thing was to make sure that I learned music. My whole family supports all the music that I'm doing. As far as my brother, at one point even if they don’t goe all the way through with it, people think about Djing. One day, my brother set up the turntables and the mixer he said practice. I learned so much from that, I mean he could only show me much, and I have to find it within myself and put in that work ethic. You won't become a vet overnight, it takes alot of work and dedication and if it's worth it then why not? I mean one day you can look back and admire all the hard work you put in and see how far you came.

Illa J's Yancey Boys will be available on November 4th!! Go out and support real Hip-Hop.

Illa J's website


Truth be told, When I heard "Love Lockdown" - I was surprised that duke had the ............... To rock the Auto Tuner Plug In for his Vocals.

SIDENOTE | FUN FACT - for those who aren't aware, which there really isn't a reason you would be unless you are a producer, engineer, recording artist, etc. AUTOTUNER is A Plug In / Software for the computer that Create the ROBOT SOUNDING / PITCH ADJUSTMENT you HEAR on "T-PAIN"s voice, The 1st time I heard it on a big record was CHER "Love after Love".

Now back to my original point. I liked the 1st single, and understood that Kanye was someone with Alot of emotion he has a need to express and I knew it was only a matter of time before he started Crooning on records. Honestly, If I had the vocal training, there are alot of times I wanna get my Stevie Wonder on During Records, but I've held back Thus Far.

Onto "HEARTLESS" - The only reason this track made it on THE HOBBYSHOP HERO was the style of Video that HYPE WILLIAMS chose to do and i'm A sucker for Artistic ish, and the Video is pretty cool soooo yea. I'm really not feeling this track tho, Also there are 2 other tracks from "808's & Heartbreaks" - one of the tracks is "Robocop" which when I saw the title I got super excited but was let down..... and a few more have leaked, So far all this Singing I'm not really sure whats going on.

I hope that, He is USING AUTOTUNER on the ENTIRE RECORD to make people hate the damn Effect and stop using it. I cant really see what other reason who would have to play himself. The Effect is dope, and if someone used it in a good way, I'm all for it. Creating an Entire Project around the plugin itself seems like a gimmick of some sort, Im sure we will find out.
The other thing I know about this album is KID CUDI is on a few joints and I'm loving his "Day N Night (crookers Remix) single.

Aiight "My friends" hahaha
Catch you on the next one.