Words: Johnny "Jbutters" Mann" Photography: Devin Horwitz

While listening to “The Good Times Roll Pt. 2”, RJD2’s newest single off of his Definitive Jux debut “Dead Ringer,” you reach a point where you seriously question whether the song is an intricate combination of samples or if it was straight jacked from your parents’ 70s soul collection. Fortunately the answer is the former. Each instrument comes from a different record and was put together through a meticulous process. After getting five samples deep, RJ realized the pieces sounded like they were engineered and recorded from the same era. “I was like I need to make sure for the first two verses and choruses that it sounded like a record. I had to be really critical about what I was sampling. Everything had to have a certain sound about it.”

While sewing those segments seamlessly together is an achievement in itself, it is also a testament to RJ’s will to improve and succeed. Truth be told he has only been at this production thing since ‘97 and still considers himself somewhat of a hack because in his mind, while he is trying his best, he still doesn’t know what he is doing. “I bought an MPC and for the first three days I didn’t even turn the machine on, I read the manual. I had no idea [what I was doing] and I had no friends that had samplers.”

Magazine:Elemental Magazine
Date: October 09, 2002