Wednesday, September 12, 2007
A Mix For Daymon
(Note: When I first started this post a month ago, I found the above picture here. The thumbnail image of the pic looked cool, but imagine my surprise to find myself looking on in the background! I didn't know that a picture of Daymon and I together existed, so this is great to see!)
For those of you don't know, my friend Daymon Dodson passed away on August 16, 2006. His many friends still seek to keep his memory (and the memory of lost friends and family of others, like DJ PRZM (RIP)) in the forefront, so the second annual Daymon Day Parade will start at 7 PM at Tuttle Park here in Columbus on Saturday and will proceed to a tribute show to Daymon and PRZM at Skullys later that evening. Please come out!
Though it's hard sometimes, I remember Daymon as a hero and an inspiration in how to view life. As we were fellow music fans, there are certain songs that will remind me of Daymon forever. So I put together a mix of all of the ones I could remember, with commentary. Props to Wes Flexner for his inspiring words that encouraged me to complete this labor of love. I hope you enjoy.
A Mix For Daymon
1. Jaylib - "Champion Sound"
The first of 8 J Dilla-related selections on this compilation (9 if you count Black Milk), which makes sense to me because Daymon loved Dilla's music. This song, one of the standouts from the J Dilla/Madlib collabo, bangs in an otherworldly fashion.
2. Kool & The Gang - "Fruitman"
When J Dilla's Donuts came out in February 2006, Daymon was excited by finding a collection of songs sampled for that album and played his favorites often in the great white van. This track (sampled for "The Diff'rence") has to be the weirdest Kool & The Gang song I've ever heard, but it's a fun tune, so who cares?
3. J Dilla - "Workinonit"
It was hard to pick one track from Donuts, but I think this one is pretty strong.
4. Kanye West feat. Consequence & John Legend - "Grammy Family"
I remember Daymon being hyped when he tracked this one down and was bumpin' it in the van. I had some difficulty finding this and I'm not 100% sure it's the same version he had, but it still bumps.
5. Beaten Awake - "Goin' Nowhere"
It's not very representative that there are only two rock songs here, but I had difficulty tying memories to most specific songs/bands. It's hard to forget these Akron boys though, as I saw them with Daymon a time or two and the song is still on his Myspace page. Beaten Awake dedicated the song to Daymon at their Bourbon Street show in August, which was a little emotional but worked out fine.
6. Edan feat. Insight - "Funky Voltron"
Great song from great album. I remember seeing Edan and Insight at Scribble Jam 2005 (with Daymon standing nearby, we weren't close at the time) and seeing Edan with Daymon at Wexner Center last May.
7. J Dilla feat. Guilty Simpson & Madlib- "Baby"
A standout track from The Shining, J Dilla's posthumous opus that came out last summer. This track seemed to get Daymon (and many other people) excited about Guilty's arrival on the scene.
8. Black Milk feat. Guilty Simpson - "Sound The Alarm"
Yes, this track had not come out at the time of Daymon's death, but he probably had it anyway. Daymon, Detox and I went to Detroit last Memorial Day for the J Dilla tribute show at the Detroit Electronic Music Festival. That was a great trip, with hilarious miscues (Manville!) and many good performances once we got there. Black Milk ripped it especially hard that night and keeps the light burning for one of his inspirations.
9. D.I.T.C. - "Day One"
I've been a D.I.T.C. fan for a long time, but I don't remember ever talking to Daymon about them. However, when I was in St. Louis for a friend's bachelor party last July, he left the meat of Diamond D's verse ("Son I'm sick, and you can put that on my mama, exclamation point, quotation, comma") on my voicemail, which was dope. I tried to save that message, but it eventually expired or I accidentally deleted it.
10. Jay Dee (aka J Dilla) - "Fuck The Police"
A classic J Dilla party-starter. "1, 2, 3, Fuck The Police!"
11. Slum Village - "The Look Of Love"
I bought the reissue of the Slum Village debut album last summer, as Daymon's influence had inspired me to investigate more of Dilla's back catalog. When Daymon died, I listened to the album (and this song especially) very often.
12. The Lindsay - "Like The Back Of My Hand"
Like my Beaten Awake commentary above, it doesn't seem right that I only managed to squeeze one Columbus rock song into this mix. If it has to be one, however, this is the one. I remember Daymon telling me at his 29th birthday party last summer that this was the best song in Columbus rock at the time. Can't argue that one.
13. The Pharcyde - "Runnin'"
Another timeless J Dilla production. This track still gets all sorts of spin, and the DJ nights dedicated to Dilla last year were no exception.
14. Smif-N-Wessun - "Bucktown"
A mainstay jam at Columbus hip-hop shows (just say "Bustown" instead). Hip-hop shows here aren't the same.
15. The UN - "Golden Grail"
Daymon spread the word about this NYC crew to anyone who would listen. Vicious beats and rhymes. Another album that got many spins from me upon his passing.
16. The Sylvers - "Only One Can Win"
This song was more sample fodder for Donuts ("Only Two Can Win") and another quirky soul jam in the van.
17. Nas - "N.Y. State of Mind"
One bar from this song best sums up my initial reaction to Daymon's death (and a great deal of my thoughts on the topic now): "It's like the game ain't the same." Rough song from a rough time.
18. Camu Tao - "Hold The Floor"
I couldn't think of a better way to end this mix. A fundamental portion of Daymon's eternal legacy is his six-year term as the host of Columbus hip-hop's breakout party. When I hear this song, I remember the Fonosluts rippin' up the turntables on those Sundays in dank ol' Bernie's. On the Fonosluts' last night, my shins got bloody from all the dudes breakin' bottles (I was wearing shorts, whoops) and Daymon got "banned" from Bernie's for ripping a large power cord out of the wall. This is the craziness of Columbus hip-hop. Mash out!