Today, February 7th, is James Dewitt Yancey’s Birthday. In remembrance, one of Dilla’s close friends and collaborators, Karriem Riggins, sat down at Iron Works Studios in Eagle Rock to touch on his friend’s legacy, and bang out a tune in his honor.
Watch “J Dilla The Greatest” from Karriem’s Stones Throw debut, Alone Together.
The opening and ending track is “Ooooaaaa”, another Karriem production from Alone together.
Karriem Riggins drops “Chopped Worm” in tribute to Sugarfoot.
Karriem: “My idea was to chop a song that is so important to hip hop and also pay homage to 1 of the funkiest groups from one of the funkiest states. Ohio Players’ music will forever be relevant! RIP Sugarfoot.”
Karriem Riggins is best known as a jazz drummer and hip-hop producer for artists like Common, Slum Village, Talib Kweli and The Roots, but he doesn’t categorize himself as anything but an artist. He advises younger musicians to do the same.
“You don’t have to put yourself in a box…there’s so many different ways to go,” Riggins says. A student of late jazz bassist Ray Brown, he tours with another Brown protégé, Grammy Award winner Diana Krall. In 2011, he collaborated with former Beatle Paul McCartney in concert and on Kisses on the Bottom, McCartney’s first studio release in five years. Names of some of the jazz artists he’s backed reads like the genre’s hall of fame – Hank Jones, Oscar Peterson, Milt Jackson, Donald Byrd and Ron Carter.
But on his solo debut Alone Together, set for an October 23 release on Stones Throw Records, Riggins plants himself firmly as a hip-hop producer with a 34-track instrumental odyssey through nearly every influence on his career thus far. The project was inspired by much of the music he was creating while living in Los Angeles, and also by the love of his son and family.
Take It Back – Kweli & Marsha Ambrosius
Walk On By – Karriem Riggins
Soldier – Badu
Step It Off – Dwele’
E And 1 Equals None – Proof
Uncle Raheim – Consequence
Tainted – Slum Village
Tainted – 50 Cent
Aerodynamic (Remix) – Daft Punk
We B Dem – Slum Village
Music Kaleidoscope – Karriem Riggins
Classic – M.E.D. & Kweli
Jump Up – Kweli
Vip In – Phat Kat
The Clapper – J Dilla
7 – 8 Karriem – Poyser – Hodge
Next Time – Common & Queen Latifah
Hustle – Common
Play Your Cards Right – Common & Bilal
Virgo – Karriem Riggins
Fall In Love – Erykah Badu
Love – Karriem Riggins
Actin Normal – Baatin
S.O.U.L – Slum Village
Quills Intro – The Roots
Quills – The Roots
Mona Lisa – Black Thought