Pioneering funk artist and perennial sample source Roy Ayers will enjoy a tribute show in his honor – with Ayers and his band sharing headlining space with Pete Rock. Thundercat and J.Rocc round out one of the best hip hop bills I’ve seen in recent months – only fitting to support one of the influential figures in the genre.
The show goes down this Thursday, 11/17/11 at Exchange in Los Angeles. Tickets are 20-30 bucks at the Eventbrite page, depending on how early you decide to get your hands on them.
And because the night’s theme pays homage to Roy Ayers for his influence on hip hop, here’s one of my favorite hip hop anecdotes, which happens to be Pete/Ayers related. Questlove recounts the weekend when J. Dilla flipped an Ayers sample in a godly manner, after Questo was convinced Pete Rock had already used up all the good parts from the same song. The short version:
when you purchase your first machine device to create hip-hop, i don’t care what era….the FIRST steps you do are trying to recreate the beats of your mentors and favorites. [...] even as a beatmaking maverick [Dilla would] still “practice” his craft by having WW?D moments. now in this case he was playing the WWpete rockD game.
so right before i went to crash on the couch, Dilla pulled out a Roy Ayers record (He’s Coming, 1972) and cued up “Ain’t Got Time” which to us beat fanatics was the basis of a simple interlude off Pete’s 1994 sophomore Main Ingredient project. knowing the original sample source well, i quipped “well…Pete used the only useable part of the song” (Mr. Ayers talks throughout the entire groove only leaving maybe .6 to 1 second of groove to take from sprinkled throughout). Dilla’s reply? “yeah….this is gonna be a tough one” and at that like the mortal i was, i went to crash on the couch…..
…only to get a 10am “whoooooooooo!!!!!!!” which was english for “YO CHECK DIS SHIT OUT!!!!!” i came downstairs and was like “whatchu do?” he said “it took time but i think i got it…..”
That beat became Black Star’s “Little Brother.” Read Questlove’s full story on okayplayer - it’s #1 on his list of “Top 10 Life-Shaping Musical Moments.” And listen to that beat below: