His First Musical Mentor Was Amp Fiddler, Not Q-Tip

Though Q-Tip was responsible for Dilla’s first big break in the music industry—when the Abstract took a liking to Dilla’s beats after Jay passed him an early SV demo—he was not the fledgling producer’s first important musical mentor.

That distinction belongs to longtime Detroit singer/musician/producer Amp Fiddler, who’s local neighborhood lab, affectionately dubbed “Camp Amp,” was where Dilla first learned the ropes of production and studio work.

When A Tribe Called Quest and the P-Funk All-Stars (Fiddler was a member) were both on the bill of Lollapalooza in 1994, it was in fact Amp who hipped Q-Tip to Jay’s production prowess, making the introduction that forever altered the sonic landscape of hip-hop production.