Exclusive: In a conversation about producers collaborating, the "Barry Bonds" hit-maker says that Dilla is one of the few he could truly work with.
Nottz and the late J Dilla had many career parallels. Both masters of bass started as emcees, and had involvement in groups (DMP and Slum Village) before branching off into solo and production work. Both men contributed greatly to New York Hip Hop, despite being from out of market states like Virginia and Michigan. Lastly, both men were largely taken under the wing of Busta Rhymes, as the Leaders of the New School emcee consulted both beat-makers since the late 1990s.
While the contemporaries may have had similar rises to the top of Rap producers in the last decade, they also worked together. Nottz produced "Diamonds" from Dilla's (as Jay Dee) shelved MCA Records album, Pay Jay. In a recent conversation with HipHopDX this month, Nottz revealed that the two men had been planning much more together.
"Me and [J] Dilla was gonna do an album together, man. We was sendin' tracks back-and-forth, but shit never happened. It never happened," Nottz told DX, referring to a period around 2002 and 2003. "Then he did [Champion Sound] with Madlib [as Jaylib]. That was a dope album. But me and Dilla are two different dudes," Nottz said, speaking that the duo's vision took time to create. "That album would have been so fuckin' crazy." Tragically, James "J Dilla" Yancey died of complications from Lupus on February 10, 2006. "Other than that, I just don't collab with nobody. I tried it, but it don't work."
On Nottz' October album, You Need This Music, he has producers Black Milk, Snoop Dogg and Travis Barker guesting. Having worked with Alchemist, Diamond D and Kanye West in the past, Nottz spoke on a growing trend in producer's collaborating. "Me, personally, I don't really get into collabing with different producers. If they're doing the same thing that I'm doing, I don't think it'll work. But if they bring something different to the table, then [possibly]." Barker provides drums for Nottz on You Need This Music's introduction track. Nottz continued, "If you've got somebody that's playin' guitars and all that shit, then that's somethin' new. I don't play guitar. That'll work for me. I don't play the drums. That'll work for me. Different shit, man."
You Need This Music is planned to release October 12.