Questlove’s latest tribute to J Dilla: The story of Black Star’s “Little Brother”
January 3, 2012
It’s no secret of the immense respect that Questlove has (and many of us have) of the late J Dilla, but it was J Dilla’s immense respect for Pete Rock that caused him to nearly destroy a beat that Questlove thought was the most amazing and intricate piece of sampling in hip-hop he’s ever heard. That beat, which J Dilla created on a lark trying to emulate his hero Pete Rock, using a Roy Ayers sample that Pete had used before, would end up mistakenly on a beat tape that Mos Def and Talib Kweli received and consequently turn into “Little Brother”, which appeared on the sountrack of a Denzel Washington flick, The Hurricane. Now that Black Star did Fallon Tuesday night, and performed “Little Brother” no less, Quest tells the story of what makes the “Little Brother” beat so special. The actual performance from that night is after the jump.
UPDATE: The Roy Ayres Project gives its own take on the sample, including the original Roy Ayres song, the studio recording of “Little Brother”, an a bit more background from the perspective of an Ayres enthusiast.