Just Blaze recently unearthed an old ASR-10 sampler that Kanye West used to create beats on "Blueprint," "Black Album," and more.
There's a reason why Roc-A-Fella is also known as The Dynasty. Their legacy -- that of their sound, artists, and projects -- endures to this day. A large reason behind that stems from the sonic foundation laid by the power tandem of Just Blaze and Kanye West.
Though both producers had distinctive musical instincts and approaches to production, they managed to co-exist on many of the label's albums, blessing JAY-Z, Beanie Sigel, Freeway, Cam'ron, and more with hits.
Just Blaze in 2008. Ray Tamarra/Getty Images
Today, Just Blaze took a moment to showcase a small piece of Roc history, taking to Instagram to share a recent discovery. While searching through his storage room, Blaze actually stumbled upon an old Ensoniq ASR-10 sampler that belonged to none other than Kanye West. As Blaze tells it, West actually used that very ASR-10 to craft some of his early classics.
Johnny Nunez/WireImage/Getty Images
"Went to storage today," captions Blaze, alongside a picture of the vintage sampler. "This is the actual ASR-10 Kanye used during the Dynasty, Blueprint, BP2, and Black Album sessions @ Baseline." As Roc-loving hip-hop heads know, those sessions yielded such Kanye classics as "This Can't Be Life," "Takeover," "Heart Of The City," "Poppin Tags," "03 Bonnie & Clyde," "Encore," and "Lucifer."
While we sit on the precipice of Donda, an album that many predict will mark new production territory for the veteran visionary, take a moment to look back on some of his earlier work -- when he was still actively sitting behind the sampler and bringing his visions to life. It may seem like a lifetime ago, but it's fair to say that his pre-College Dropout work remains among his most important, positioning the young Chicago artist among the game's most promising producers in only a few short years.
Swizz Beatz, Kanye West, and Just Blaze. Johnny Nunez/WireImage/Getty Images
Shout out to Just Blaze for sharing his findings on Instagram, a treat for hip-hop historians and those who appreciate the art of vintage gear -- look no further than the response issued by Jay Electronica, who once called the ASR-10 his favorite machine.