Feb 11, 2007

J Dilla, 1976 - 2006

It's been a year since J Dilla died. I don't know why I became so attached to his music, but I feel like he's opened me up to a whole new world within hip-hop. I think one of the things that interested me most was that I had been a fan of his music without knowing it. I had Common's Like Water For Chocolate and Erykah Badu's Mama's Gun constantly on repeat back in high school, but I never made the connection. From what I can tell, he seemed like such a quiet and reserved guy, never needed tons of praise for what he did. He did it because he loved it and I feel like I can connect with that in a way. The aesthetics of his later work has also influenced me, with it's broken, rough feel that I want to reflect in my work. I'm also excited about the people attempting to carry his torch as well as all the people/friends he left behind. Discovering his music I missed is also a great experience. I'm not trying to get sappy over this. It's just something that's really interested me for the past year. Hip-hop producers remind me a lot of illustrators. They create something with their hands, making something unique with their personal touch. They become their work. That connection intrigues me.
So this is a quick drawing of J Dilla I did last night. I used a photo out of Wax Poetics as a reference (by my favorite, B+!), but I think it worked out. Once again, playing with my dip pens. Also, this is the first time I'm used a spray bottle. I like the effect I get by spraying water over wet ink. It's also interesting how I can control the direction of the spray. I love ink. Also, colored in Photoshop.


  1. Funny thing, I haven't really heard of J Dilla until he right before he passed away rip, but I realise much of the music I have listened has been produced by him.

    And I most say again, amazing piece. I love the ink spatter.

  2. How'd you go about making this? Are the inks all natural, how about the splashes? Looks great.

    I've been a moderate fan of his, and while it's obviously a shame and a big loss to music that he's gone, it's funny to see how unexpected death can make an artist into a legend instantly. Looks as if Dilla's going to become the Tupac for the indie kids. :/