INTERVIEW: Mike Nyce, Sonny James and Prince Paul for Philly Loves Dilla

by Reginald Duvivier


The Couchsessions is proud to be involved with Philly Loves Dilla, a celebration of one of the greatest producers of all time. On February 15th at Johnny Brenda’s we’ve got Prince Paul, Mike Nyce, Mr Sonny James and Waajeed spinning on wax plus Ma Dukes is going to come through. We asked some of the spin masters to answer some quick questions about what Dilla meant to them before the event, read what they said below:

What made you want to participate in an event like this?

Mr Sonny James: I get to play some of favorite records ever made while collaborating with some of my closest friends. I’m honored to be known for having educated a lot of folks on J. Dilla’s music since the late 90s and early 2000s in Philly. To be able to honor his legacy around the time of his birthday and unfortunate day of passing is an honor in itself and I can’t imagine passing on the opportunity.

Mike Nyce: I am a long time fan of J Dillas music, so what better way to pay homage to a legend in the game but to honor his legacy by showcasing his talent to people who know and people who dont know as well.

Prince Paul: The Love , respect , admiration of the mans work .. one of the many great ones


What are your first memories of Dilla’s music?

MN: My first memories of J Dillas music was being in Armands Records in Philly and taking the J-88 album over to the listening station and having my mind blown by the beats (the whole project really). It was the first time I had ever been in a record store, listened to a whole album, then bought two copies (you had to back then…no sera to).

PP: Hearing a remix he did for de la .. I thought it was amazing!

MSJ: Labcabincalifornia by The Pharcyde dropped in 1995. I loved this group even from their earlier releases but this project solidified them as one of the greatest groups in my opinion and the beats had a lot to do with that. An obvious standout Jay-Dee produced was Runnin’ which still gets an enormous reaction in parties around the world. In 1998, Funkmaster Flex dropped his final 60 Mins of Funk Mixtape which had a bunch of flavor but when I heard Jay-Dee and Q-Tip’s “That Shit” joint, I was instantly a fan of Jay’s MC style as well. That was a mainstay tune in rotation at house parties back then.


What’s your favorite under the radar dilla cut?

PP: I don’t thing any of them are under the radar anymore to be honest .. but there is an instrumental where he chops up ” Misdemeanor ”

MSJ: I have to name two because there are two different categories. Production wise, “I’d say In Order To Look Good (Cut Corners)” by Bilal and for vocal performances, “No One’s Home,” produced by Supa Dave West. Those joints never officially dropped but they’re insane.

MN: My favorite under the radar Dilla cut would have to be “4 Moms” on the ATCQ Love Movement album. No rhymes, just a sick ass track.


What are some of your favorite Dilla tracks to spin at parties?

MSJ: Sheesh! Definitely “Higher” by Q-Tip, “Eyes Up” and “Earl Flynn” by Slum Village, “Dynamite” by The Roots, and “Cleva” by Erykah Badu.

PP: Fall in love , Anything De la Or Tribe

MN: Well I’m such a fan I will play J Dilla at any party at any time in the night so I dont really have “favorites”. If I had to choose I would say that some of my favorite Dilla tracks I like to play at parties are; “Crushin'”, “Fock The Police”, “Champion Sound”, Anything off the “Fantastic Vol. 2″ album to name a few…there are so many…too many to name.