Drummer Daru Jones has been Jack White’s tour drummer for more than ten years, yet he has a strong Hip Hop background. Jones, who was raised listening to the classic music of the 1980s and 1990s, has been fascinated by Hip Hop since its debut. Jones has now worked with artists like Pete Rock, Nas, Talib Kweli, Pharoahe Monch, Smoke DZA, Black Milk, and Slum Village, to mention a few. His resume is impressive enough to make most drummers salivate.
A Daru State Of Mind, an instrumental record by Jones and seasoned beatmaker Kev Brown, was made public on Friday (June 17). The 20-track album, which pays homage to Nas’ “NY State Of Mind,” features interludes and conversations with famed engineer Eddie Sancho, recognized for his work, throughout.
Jones said in a recent interview with HipHopDX, “I recall meeting Eddie Sancho; he was DJ Premier’s engineer for years. “Gang Starr is the topic here. In a few years, DJ Premier and The Badder—of which I was the drummer for the original lineup—were performing in Brooklyn at Brooklyn Bowl. As soon as I saw Eddie Sancho there, I thought, “Man, I recognize that face,” and he introduced himself.
Jones believed the Kev Brown effort was “wonderful,” and Sancho expressed his desire to work with him if the chance ever presented itself. They were able to accomplish it with the aid of Fat Beats (“Eddie’s not cheap,” he jokes).
Because producers don’t often give credit to the engineer, he explains, “we just tried to make the best of it.” They get their sound from engineers, I believe. Several Gang Starrs and that magic? Eddie Sancho is the one mixing there. That’s why I argued that Eddie Sancho should be included in the song. Eddie is speaking with us.
Sancho is featured in the title track’s music video, which Jones and Brown have also published to coincide with the album’s release. With historical footage of LL COOL J, Big Daddy Kane, and EPMD, the film pays homage to the origins of hip hop. After all, Jones and Brown’s shared love of hip hop is what initially drew them together.
He remembers, “I got in touch with Kev Brown around 2004.” “I also recall being in Michigan. I attended this concert to support the Detroit rapper Finale. It was incredible that Finale flew Kev Brown down to Detroit for a concert.