April 12, 2011

If it was left up to Evan Nabavian, he would be living proof.

Proof and Dilla. It’s no secret that hip-hop reveres its fallen. Artists and fans created dozens of NateDogg tributes before the man was even buried. “Rest in peace” is probably a more common refrain at rap shows than “Make some noise.” So when Paul Rosenberg, manager to Eminem and Alchemist, uploads an unreleased track featuring Detroit’s most visible deceased, the excitement of the discovery is akin to the episode of The Simpsons where Lisa found out Jebediah Springfield was actually a pirate named Hans Sprungfeld who once fought George Washington.

“The Fizzo” dates back to 1994 and features Proof rapping over a beat by Jay Dee with a hook by T3 of Slum Village. Proof’s rhymes are disjointed and spontaneous, perhaps totally improvised, and Jay’s melancholy jazz loop is that of an early Pete Rock devotee. The track is a relic of hip-hop’s finest hour and the pair’s humble beginnings. Little did they know that Proof would play hypeman for the biggest rapper ever and Pete Rock would include Dilla in his top five.

MP3: Proof (prod. by J Dilla)-“Fizzo”

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