Vallery Jean | Mark Davis, Getty Images Fat Joe is wearing his heart on his sleeve…
- Posted on Mar 24th 2010 3:30PM by Lonny Knapp
Throughout his decade-long career, the skilled producer and turntablist has allowed his insatiable curiosity to lead him to new musical territories. He has sought out diverse collaborations with the likes of Massive Attack and Fall Out Boy, weaned himself off samples in favour of live instrumentation and connected to a legion of couch potatoes when one of his compositions was chosen as the theme to the hit TV show Mad Men.
Before a gig in Toronto as part of Canadian Music Week, Spinner ambushed RJ and asked him to list five artists that inspired him to push the envelope.
Hands down, he is my favourite artist of all time. He doesn't have the most diverse catalogue, but he always embraced new technologies. His voice, chord voicings and music sensibilities remain the same, but the texture of his records constantly change.
What DJ Premier did with 'Hard to Earn' was a big deal for me. He was making loop-based rap music, but he came up with his own technique for chopping things up into little pieces and rearranging them. You got the feeling that his production style would change with every Gang Starr album.
'The Private Press' is my favourite Shadow record, but his work on the 'Outsider' was super inspirational. I have so much respect for him.
He is one of my favourite composers. Some of his albums were atonal, non rhythmic experiments in sound, but his work on 'Chariots of Fire' was almost poppy. Vangelis, Kraftwerk to a lesser degree, and that whole school of German electronic music from the '70s had complete disregard for tradition. It's is a huge inspiration.
I don't love all of Brian Eno's albums, but you gotta respect the s--- out of him.