The Fantastic Sounds of Jay Dee AKA Jay Dilla

Sharing the sounds of a legend to inspire a new generation of beat makers.

Search Jay Dee Drum Kit in Google and you’ll generate hundreds of results claiming to be “authentic” and “real”. In March of 2018, Splice was approached with a one-of-a-kind opportunity. A close collaborator of the late James Yancey (aka J. Dilla) came across the masters from a 1999 recording by his former group Slum Village. We were tasked with developing a plan to share this material with the world.

The master source record ︎

The Splice content team commissioned some of the most influential producers and beat makers of present day to take a select group of sounds from the pack and create their own loops as well as provide their thoughts and memories of how Jay Dee inspired them or worked with them. We used these quotes to paint a fuller picture of his work. Their new loops were released as a series titled “Fantastic Loops” demonstrating how anyone can generate new ideas from old material.

Social graphics created for the campaign ︎

The validity of this content was one of the biggest messages we wanted to portray during this campaign we need to. One of the biggest signifiers of this was our relationship with Jay Dees mother, Ma Dukes.

We debuted the second episode of our Unpacked franchise featuring 88-Keys (a producer for Kanye West, Mos Def, and more) exploring and building beats from sounds found in the Jay Dee sample pack whike reminiscing with Ma Dukes about working with her son and the inspiration he found in him and his process. Click below to watch the episode.

︎ read more about the Unpacked franchise here.

This project was one of our biggest cross functional projects to date and the above work represents just a small piece of it. We worked with over 30 people from 5 different internal teams, captured content in 3 states, worked with a half-dozen illustrators, and released over 15 different pieces of content across the whole campaign.

You can see an overview of all content, or start using Jay Dee’s sounds yourself on Splice.

My Role ︎

Creative Direction, Campaign Strategy

Credits & Collaborators ︎

Emily Haasch
Alex Cook

Marketing & Content Strategy
Jen Mozenter
Laura Zax
Bobby Taylor

G L Askew
Brett Kernan

Copywriting & Content
Simion Goetz
Ken Herman
Harrison Shimazu
Reuben Ramen

Video Production
Yours Truly