This year for Black HIstory Month, we decided to pay tribute to some of the greatest producers in the history of black music. Half of every show for the month of February will showcase the work of these iconic musicians. This year we have picked 4 of the most influential and important musicians ever.
Maurice White (Airing February 5, 2016)
The first showcase was originally going to be a tribute to James Brown, however we regrettably had to make a last minute change when we heard that Maurice White, the founder of Earth, Wind & Fire passed away yesterday. Maurice’s genius was most evident as the driving force behind EWF and their countless hits, but he also left his mark as a session player or producer for the likes of Deniece Williams, The Emotions, Ramsay Lewis, Minnie Riperton and many more. He might be gone from the physical, but he remains as one of soul music’s brightest shining stars.
J. Dilla (Airing February 12, 2016)
We pay the late great J. Dilla Tribute every year…we have to…he is in our opinion the greatest hip-hop producer to ever hit the pads on an MPC. There isn’t much left to say, but Dilla’s musical legacy will forever be something we will feel obligated to celebrate as long as we have the outlet to do so.
Quincy Jones (Airing February 19, 2016)
Our first two tributes celebrated musicians who are no longer with us, and our last two will celebrate two who are still here to appreciate. Quincy Jones quite simply is one of the most important musicians in every imaginable way in almost every genre. His work spans over 60 years, which is insane. From his early roots as one of the jazz world’s biggest stars, to composing and arranging several film scores, to producing some of the biggest records the world has ever seen, not many can match up to Q’s career.
DJ Premier (Airing February 26, 2016)
While we just stanned about Dilla a couple paragraphs back, it can certainly be argued that Preemo is the greatest. He is one of the pillars that defined the New York boom-bap sound of the 90s. We could have done a show strictly on his work with Gang Starr, or strictly on his work with Gang Starr Foundation acts like Jeru and Group Home, or strictly on his countless remixes because his output during what many look at as hip-hop’s golden age is nothing short of incredible.
We’re going to try to do this every year for Black History Month so if you have any suggestions on a producer you’d like to see featured in the future, please feel free to let us know via Twitter @dirtyneedles. Also don’t forget to visit CJSW.com where you can stream us live at or if you miss an episode you can also access show archives