Frank Nitt speaks on his new Delicious Vinyl EP and his collaborations with J Dilla, and premieres exclusive MP3
In recent years, Los Angeles has emerged as a quasi-outpost of Detroit. Following the lead of the late producer J Dilla, who relocated in the middle part of the last decade, everyone from DJ HouseShoes to Dilla's brother, Illa J, to Guilty Simpson to Mayer Hawthorne (technically from Ann Arbor) have spent a heavy portion of their time basking in the affable weather and laid-back West Coast vibes.
One of the most notable transplants has been longtime Dilla collaborator Frank Nitt, best known as one half of the duo Frank-N-Dank.
Though his Motor City roots will always figure prominently into his music, the rapper born Frank Bush has assimilated well into his new digs, collaborating with Madib on a forthcoming Medicine Show, working with Mike Ross of the venerable Delicious Vinyl, and now releasing "Jewels in My Backpack," an entirely Terrace Martin-produced EP on the famed imprint.
Featuring guest spots from left coast legends DJ Quik and Kurupt, the record breaks new stylistic ground for Nitt, a rapper best known for rhyming over the gritty and spare bangers of Dilla's post-Slum Village phase. "Jewels in My Backpack" aims to find a middle ground between Bush's gruff Detroit bark and Martin's plush West Coast rider music -- hence the title that seeks to balance the glossy with the grimy.
In conjunction with the release, Nitt spoke to Pop & Hiss about his new record, how he got down with Delicious Vinyl, and of course, his work with the legendary J Dilla. Additionally, he premiered an MP3 for "L.O.V.E." featuring DJ Quik and J. Black.How did Frank-n-Dank form in the first place?
We'd been in a group since 1995. At first, Dank was a dancer -- the idea to form Frank-n-Dank was T3 of Slum Village's idea. Dank already had the nickname because he was the only dude in the crew to smoke weed at the start, so we called him President Dankworth because that was the name of this album that Dilla had on his wall.