DETROIT, MICHIGAN - AUGUST 18: DJ Jazzy Jeff performs at Little Caesars Arena on August 18, 2023 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Scott Legato/Getty Images)

DJ Jazzy Jeff On The Importance Of The Sample: 'You're Digging For Gold'

DJ Jazzy Jeff On The Importance Of The Sample: 'You're Digging For Gold'

Published Tue, November 14, 2023 at 6:03 PM EST

On a producer panel held on the Rock The Bells Cruise on Nov. 13, DJ Jazzy Jeff spoke about the importance diggin' for records and sampling.

"Having older siblings and parents that had record collections, it always started from there," he shared. 'My older brother played bass for The Intruders, he played on 'Cowboys To Girls', and they would rehearse in my basement."

Jeff shared that his brother taught him how to handle vinyl records, and allowed him to listen to his records in his absence. "I'm eight or nine years old listening to Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock, because I don't have music of my own. This is pre Hip-Hop. When Hip-Hop came along and you got a drum machine, you could grab those records [and combine them with the drum machine]."

During the panel, which was moderated by Rock the Bells radio host Torae, and also included Mannie Fresh, Lil Jon, and Pete Rock, Jeff shared that even his fear of heights didn't stop him from searching for the perfect beat in his later days of collecting.

"Anyone who ever dug for records or sampled knows that you're digging for gold," he explained. "Sometimes you go in these stores, and I'm scared of heights and Ive been in record stores where I was easily 20 feet in the air on a pile of records reaching for this album cover with no fear because I knew that was gold over there."

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