Renaissance Soul was originally a Detroit hip-hop website started in 2001 by your host Kelly “K-Fresh” Frazier that first centered around the discography of legendary producer Jay Dee aka J. Dilla before it branched out to all Detroit hip-hop and music. In many cases, Renaissance Soul was the first place you heard many Detroit music artists that you love today. With it’s revival as a podcast, each episode will focus on specific topics (an album, an era, a legacy, etc) from Detroit music of all genres from the past and present from a historical perspective.
This episode’s guest is DJ, music historian, and curator, DJ Amir Abdullah. Known for his On Track mixtapes with DJ Kon, Amir currently run his own record label, 180-Proof (founded in 2011), which owns the exclusive rights to release Strata Records’ influential back catalog and unreleased sessions. This is a re-issue of an interview I did with DJ Amir back in December 2018 for the Fresh is the Word Podcast that would fit well as a Renaissance Soul episode.
During our conversation, we talked about Amir’s roots in music, his collaborations with DJ Kon and the On Track mixtapes, becoming a music historian and curator, researching music to reissue/unearth, obtaining the Strata Records catalogue, the history and political activism of Strata in Detroit, and Charles Mingus Jazz in Detroit / Strata Concert Gallery / 46 Selden and the stories behind the recordings.
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