Today is the first day of Dilla Month, so I’m going to talk about one of my favorite Jay Dee records that I own. While I am a big fan of Welcome 2 Detroit, Donuts, Ruff Draft, and the rest of his work, his original 12″ Fuck the Police is probably my favorite thing he ever put out. Not only is the beat incredible, but I feel like of all the “fuck the police” songs that have been made, Dilla gives some of the best examples of why the police can suck ass.
I do own the original version of this, but the one pictured above is the favorite Jay Dee record of mine. It includes the incredibly rare sample for the song which is Rene Costy’s Scrabble (I have seen the original record go for hundreds on eBay). Before this release came out I didn’t think I would ever own the song on wax, but when I saw this record come out I ordered it immediately. This was a pretty limited pressing (I believe 300 copies) and it was sold over in Europe so I’m glad that I was even able to get a copy.
As you can tell from listening to Scrabble, Dilla didn’t really have to change much at all to make it an excellent song to rap over. While some folks I have seen criticize producers for changing very little on a song and then rapping over it, I prefer to think it takes a good ear to recognize an awesome beat like this as being something you can turn into a great song (Especially considering the rare nature of the sample itself, I’d say Dilla deserves props on this one). The sample is probably one of the coolest library record songs I have ever heard and I believe that it was actually what introduced me to looking into that type of music more. There was a lot of awesome library music out in the 60s and 70s, some would be surprised to see how many songs have been sampled from them over the years.
I will be posting some more of my thoughts on Dilla stuff as the month progresses.
Songs included above are Fuck the Police and Scrabble.