Acclaimed emcee and producer Black Milk discussed his work with Slum Village, J. Dilla, Illa J, Karriem Riggins, Dez Andres in a recent interview with Daily Public. During the conversation, the Detroit native described how he avoided putting pressure on himself to fill the void left absent once J. Dilla left Slum Village.
“Being a fan but also being in the studio and working with some of these guys, the effect that it had on me was more so the challenge of pushing the envelope,” Black Milk said. “I came to the group after J Dilla left. We’re talking about one of the best if not the best producer of all time leaving a group and you have to step in and fill that void.. but that wasn’t my mind state going in. I wasn’t like ‘ok I’ve gotta be JD’ but more so, like, I just gotta do what I do but do it to the best of my ability and try to push the envelope.
“Being in that kind of environment made me a better producer because I was around some guys that were talented and progressive in the way they created. A lot of the times that gets lost, man. Especially in hip hop but also in music in general. I feel like certain artists get stuck in a particular time or era where it’s hard for them to move forward or even think about music in a different kind of way. That’s why Dilla is my favorite of all time. He was the most progressive thinking hip hop producer we’ve ever had. The things he was doing on that drum machine, he was always five or 10 years ahead. It took everyone else a little bit of time to catch up. That’s the best thing I had about being around those guys, just adopting this progressive mentality.”
Black Milk’s 2014 release, If There’s A Hell Below received 4 out of 5 from HipHopDX.