By Hayden Wright
When the late J Dilla recorded “The Anthem” in the early 2000s, one original mix came from a young MC by the name of Kanye West.
Since Dilla’s death in 2006, that audio has remained unreleased, until next month. “The Anthem” will appear on The Middle Finger, a compilation of recordings that will be released October 5th.
In the 2013 documentary Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton, Kanye elaborated on how formative Dilla was in shaping the musician and MC he became.
“We gotta make music and think, ‘If Dilla was alive, would he like this?'” West said. “I have to work on behalf of Dilla. When I put a weird-ass Jamaican sample, it works at first but it’s not until I put the [makes discordant musical noise] that it sounds like art or sounds slightly wrong. And now it’ll go to the radio now that it’s wrong, motherf—–. Now play this. Play this 5-minute song that completely f—- up your programming. The best respect that we can pay to great artists that have inspired us so much is to never sell out.”