Fans worldwide rejoiced when they heard that there was unreleased Dilla music to be released on Record Store Day 2017. The best part is that it will also include a group that he assembled back in the day and produced for by the name of Frank -N-Dank. I have gotten to know one of the members of the group, Dank Harv, pretty well over the past year and I reached out to him by phone just days after he returned home off the successful “Jay-Dee Made This” tour to talk about the highly anticipated “The Jay-Dee Tapes” out on April 22. Give me some background on this Record Store Day release.
Dank: This Record Store Day release thing is a body of work that we had did in 2002 during the MCA deal. At that time MCA had told us to go back in do two new records and mix two other records and that come out that batch. The “batch” that we about to put out for April 22nd, that’s one “batch”but it’s a “batch”of material before that “batch”that’s even crazier. That batch before that batch is the “batch” that actually got us the fuckin’ record deal. We gonna get to that because that “batch”is actually gonna see the light too and shit. So it’s about to be fuckin’ crazy but the April 22nd thing is right after we did the deal with MCA and they wanted us to go back in a cut two more records. We did “Take your clothes off”, “I bet you will” and Dilla had to mix two records, you know what I mean? And that was it right there. It’s gonna come through Delicious Vinyl, uh Uncle Toney, Dennis & Ma Dukes (Dilla’s mother). Uncle Toney is Ma Dukes husband. So we brought them in to get the extra weight up. It was important to bring this to Ma Dukes to bring it together. Each move that we’re doin’now we’re making sure that Ma Dukes and Uncle Toney are a part of it because it’s more of a solid foundation. With Delicious Vinyl, Mike Ross over there and the team,they see the vision and they been seen the vision ya know? And everybody’s on board and everybody’s playing fair and it’s a really good feelin’ to really start having some of this stuff come to light. Because there has been a lot of stuff untangled and it’s finally getting some air. It’s a new regime, it’s some new people on the team that’s really about the business and stuff, so it’s good. We just looking at this as putting out records and things like that, looking at this Dilla situation as a corporation now. You know what I mean? A major cooperation and everyone has to come to the table and agree. One person can lead but at the same time everybody got to sign for the shit now. Not just do this and that. The whole family got to sign off on it and that’s just weeding out all of the bullshit. All of the fake people this, that,and the other. Keeping it solid, business is business and family shit is family shit and understanding your role in this now. Because we trying to play for keeps now, you know what I mean? Gotta play catch up. Everyone moving in a fashion with their craft and their artwork from Frank to ILLA (J) to Frank n’ Dank, to the rest of the squad Young RJ,T3, me, my son, Frank son everybody trying to go in and get each situation tighter so when we put all these things in the light everybody is ready to move as one. Not that Oldschool shit that everybody did, one person going on, this person going to do that. No! Everybody going fuckin’ together and shit just like this tour “Jay Dee Made This”. T3, Ma Dukes, Frank, Que-D,C-Minus, M.E.D.,it’s just a fuckin’ phenomenal tour to able to be a part of to be able to go do like that. Everybody’s not going to be able to make it because they got different agendas to do but that’s just a part right there to show the unity of what we trying to do and that’s it cuzzo right there for real, for real. Just trying to bring it back together.
So was this always a plan to come out on Record Store Day? Who made the decision or….
Dank: Naw, this is some new shit. This is the decision of the good people over there at Delicious Vinyl. They looked at it like this, they just didn’t want to just throw it out like that. And it will be more interesting and more accessible and a little bit more tangible. These are things that Dilla did and it was timeless…these little pieces is like a damn manual. Like I said, it was done by the good graces of the people at Delicious Vinyl, they brought in OkayPlayer.They gonna do some things to help promote the situation to because they appreciate the vintage part of the Dilla situation. At the same time Delicious Vinyl, OkayPlayer, and everybody come in to oversee this thing like that. Record Store Day was all Delicious Vinyl, it was a smart way to attack it properly with the situation. They really appreciate that we brought it to them instead of just going anywhere else with it, you know what I mean? Because that’s tangible, nobody else got that, nobody heard it. This unreleased shit so to have and hear that and for the shit to go on vinyl,shiiiiiit! For a D.J. , just a head that’s a collectors piece to go into your collection you know what I mean? So I already know how the heads are gonna respond and act towards that, I already know. Because I’m a head myself, I already know how the vinyl plays. Yea, everybody can put out a music but everybody and putting out no damn vinyl. It’s a different thing, so to have that incorporated with Record Store Day ….it’s new to me. I’m just hearing about it through different outlets and people like,”yo that’s phenomenal,that’s good” and “I’m looking forward to this” this,that,and the other.