Even in a city with as many musical icons as Detroit, not many come with the charisma, charm and presence of Kenny Dixon Jr. Since dropping his debut album over 20 years ago, setting the blueprint for his particular brand of Motor City-inspired soulful house, Moodymann has become one of dance music’s most loved figures. As we launch a new documentary with Kenny and New Era, we headed to The D to collect some nuggets of wisdom from the man himself – and some of his hometown friends.
“No matter where I am, I always have Detroit dust and dirt on the bottom of my feet”
Moodymann: “Back in the day, we played everything, it wasn’t just one genre. We even played the slow jams. I mean, how else you gonna get close to your lady? If you didn’t play the slow jams you’re gonna have some motherfucker coming up to you saying ‘I’m trying to holler at this lady and you’re playing Parliament and Funkadelic right now. You need to slow that shit down!”
Mike Banks: “The other DJs, they might try something, and when they see the crowd not have any knowledge of something other than 4/4, they backspin out of it. Kenny ain’t gonna do that. He likes to educate people about black culture. He’s a teacher, more so than a DJ.”
MM: “Playing in Japan is a whole different situation... they’re educated...it’s as if they do a class on black music out there...they tell me about my own shit!”
Amp Fiddler: “Nobody else walks like Kenny Dixon. He’s got his own fly way of waltzing through life that’s different from everybody else. That’s his magic.”
“I don’t go up there with no planned set. I’m like your parent; I’m going to give you what you need"
MM: “If you come over to Theo’s house, or my house, or Dilla’s house when he was around, the equipment is always going to be on. There’s no off button.”
MM: “I thought it was a joke at first when New Era called - but the next thing I knew I was up in their London office designing this collection. My only demand was that we use the Detroit trademark. I want to support my city.”
Watch Mixmag x New Era’s short film on the Detroit icon below and check out Moodymann's custom collection at New Era
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