Ahead of my trip to Detroit I interviewed Black Milk today. The producer and MC recently relocated to Austin so this was a chance to speak to him now and get a bit more insight into the history of Detroit, following from speaking to Houseshoes in L.A earlier in the year. I unintentionally took a similar approach with L.A when I found myself speaking to Kutmah, Take, Ras G and Daddy Kev before visiting the city, which gave me plenty of points of reference once I was there, people to see, places to visit etc… Hopefully the same happens with Detroit.
During the research for the chat I came across this mini documentary on Black Milk shot during his Claps and Slaps tour last year. In it Black Milk talks about his approach, including this idea of being really open minded to sample sources. We touched on this in the interview and he felt that it was a real Detroit thing, that producers there have always had the habit of sampling from everything, whether it was soul or electronic. And you can clearly hear that in the works of Jay Dee, Waajeed and Amp Fiddler to take some of the most obvious examples. You can also look at the likes of Theo Parrish, Moodyman or Andres for further proof of this Detroit mentality, of not being limited by the boxes of a genre while still staying firmly within one aesthetic, be it hip hop, house or techno.
This, and further descriptions of the city and its daily life, then led me to think about how perhaps Detroit’s secret recipe over the years is a secret blend of soul and technology, of cold and warm.