dream hampton – J Dilla

Calling J Dilla the Greatest Hip-hop Producer Offends Pete Rock, Causes Twitter Uproar

dream hampton probably couldn’t have anticipated the shit-storm she’d “cause” by calling the late J Dilla the “greatest producer in the history” of hip-hop on Twitter late Sunday night.

dream hampton - J Dilla

It’s not a new or surprising opinion, and she certainly isn’t the first to express it.

Although Dilla passed in 2006, the mark he left after emerging from Detroit’s underground scene continues to be recognized in almost every conversation about hip-hop production.

For example, renowned hip-hop engineer and producer Young Guru compared Dilla to Michael Jordan back in 2011, and unapologetically tweeted a similar stance on June 15, 2013:

“He was the most shocking person to me at the time. He’s really the truth. He was the Michael Jordan of beat-making. If we look at Primo and Pete [Rock] as the Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, he was the one that took what the people did before him and put all these new twists on it and took it to a whole new level.”

Young Guru - J Dilla, June 15, 2013

Dilla’s friend and jazz drummer/hip-hop producer Karriem Riggins even released J Dilla The Greatest on his album Alone Together earlier this year.

And while it’s valid to address that people play favorites when musicians become deceased, it is perplexing and troubling that another hip-hop legend would take offense to the journalist/activist’s personal opinion, and ONLY HER opinion.

Her tweet was retweeted and and supported by rap icons like Busta Rhymes, who added “I agree,” and Q-Tip and ?uestlove of The Roots, who tweeted in agreement and mentioned Dilla’s abilities from a technical aspect as well:

Questlove - J Dilla, June 17, 2013

Famed producer Pete Rock however, saw it as just cause to launch an all out Twitter rant about how disrespectful her sentiments are, calling her a [dick] “rider:”

Pete Rock twitter rant, June 17, 2013

Culturevi - J Dilla, June 17, 2013

“But hip hop as a whole started with other greats that lead up to Dilla!!” whined tweeted Rock, who is clearly not content with being told by Dilla himself that he was influenced by Rock early on.

Though the 42-year-old producer seemed to be screaming “what about me!?,” hampton and others took notice to the fact that Rock called out neither Busta, Tip, or Questo for their “riding” or bandwagoning, and the overall ridiculousness of what Rock was spewing:

Spirit Equality - J Dilla, June 17, 2013

Dart Adams - J Dilla, June 17, 2013

so treu - J Dilla, June 17, 2013

2020Proof - J Dilla, June 17, 2013

MelBaby - J Dilla, June 17, 2013

hampton took Rock’s “riding” comment as being called a “groupie,” but his sole focus on her opinion, and no one else’s, is what really made the exchange a gender issue and struck a chord with hip-hop’s female fans:

“In the past two weeks I’ve heard of women being called out via social networks re: speaking about hip hop intelligently,” writes Rhymesayers’ first lady Psalm One. “Cases of females being told to “stay out of man talk” when they offer DMX is their favorite east coast rapper are stomach turning.”

“It would seem that the total dismissal of a woman’s voice via gendered aggressive language is still second nature to some in hip hop culture,” says blogger Lorrel K.

Despite the backlash, hampton returned to Twitter on Monday to name her favorite 10 producers, topped by Dilla of course, who’s followed by “Premiere, Prince Paul, Eric Sadler, RZA, Dre, Ish from Shabazz Palaces, Eazy Mo Bee, Diamond D, and Rick Rubin.”

Maybe Pete Rock’s little tantrum got him bumped. Poor ting him.