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RIP Matt Dike, unsung yet archetypal figure of LA’s 80s and 90s hip hop scene, who retired from the spotlight in the early 90s but who never forgot about the fire that inspired the crucial era of hip hop production that started around albums like ‘Paul’s Boutique,’ which he helped catalyze. Read a nice piece on him @latimes by @liledit and, if you have it, play Idris Muhammad’s ‘Loran’s Dance’ for Matt tonight.
Matt Dike, founder of Delicious Vinyl, has died after a battle with salivary gland cancer. He was 56 years old.
Delicious Vinyl may not have the brand familiarity of a Bad Boy or a Rocafella Records, or the underground clout of a Rawkus Records, but the upstart label was one of the most seminal of the early rise of hip-hop. Without pop-leaning jams like Tone Loc’s “Wild Thing” and Young MC’s “Bust A Move,” both Delicious releases, much of the mainstream music world may never have been exposed to rap, and the nascent genre would still be radioactive to sponsors and programming directors who saw a little too much “ghetto” in early rap productions.
Dike had a huge hand in not just those songs, but also in the creation of the 1989 Beastie Boys album, Paul’s Boutique, which famously mashed up genres like rock, pop, and punk with rap, proving the genre’s diversity and versatility. His work as a DJ included working with a young Ice-T, his work as a producer involved helping Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys craft a rap song, and as a label owner, he was able to make Delicious Vinyl an incredibly lucrative venture, one of the first truly successful rap labels. Due to his withdrawn nature and location on the West Coast, he’s often overlooked in rap histories, but rap just wouldn’t be what it is today without him, and hip-hop culture has lost a true legend.
Hip-hop luminaries who have paid tribute include Questlove of The Roots, DJ A-Trak, Nick Catchdubs, and Egon of Rappcats.
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Dog. This is crazy. So upset I never got to meet up/chat w #MattDike. Proprietor of @deliciousvinyl records. Creator of some of the most timeless fratty party hip hop ever (“Wild Thing” “Funky Cold Medina””Bust A Move”). Signing some stellar artists that were out of the norm at the time: #BrandNewHeavies #MellowManAce #ThePharcyde) but man, imo his crowning achievement was as one of the producers for one of THE greatest timeless hip hop albums ever #PaulsBoutique. It simply gets better with time (will be 30 years old in 2 years) it took 10 years to go double platinum and was considered a flop at the time of its release. But EVERY creative agrees that this album was not only @beastieboysofficial finest hour —but one of hip hop’s finest hours as well. It was my dream to nerd out and ask him (& the dust brothers too) about how they defied the laws of sampling gravity & made some of the most groundbreaking work ever. Rest In Beats.