Immortal Technique and J. Dilla?
Technique surprised audiences at Rock the Bells a few weeks ago when he performed a portion of "Toast to the Dead," a new song produced by the late, great Dilla. It was thought that most of the Detroit beatmaker's extensive catalog had already been thoroughly mined, whether through posthumously-released instrumental albums, songs with collaborators like Busta Rhymes and Guilty Simpson or a cascade of unauthorized leaks that emerged in the months after his death in 2006 from complications of lupus and TTP. So to hear underground firebrand Technique, who isn't known for collabos with high-profile producers, over a new, never-heard-before beat from Dilla was somewhat of a shock.
BET.com recently caught up with Immortal Technique to discuss how the song came to be.
"I been holding on to this instrumental for five, six, seven years, I don't even know how long," he told BET.com. "I actually contacted Mama Yancey, J Dilla's mom, and I went out to Detroit to talk to her 'cause I felt things have to be done the right way."
Tech went on to criticize the many MCs who rhymed over Dilla beats that leaked after his death without permission. "You can't just take somebody's art — I'm not gonna name names cause they don't deserve the free press," he said. "I don't just grab random instrumentals people make and rhyme over them."
"Toast to the Dead" will appear on an upcoming Immortal Technique album featuring unreleased material that will be released for free on the Web. Tech wouldn't reveal the project's name yet, but he did say it would also include collabos with Dead Prez, Killer Mike, Styles P, Brother Ali and others.
(Photo: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)