Just Blaze took to Instagram this week to share a bit of hip-hop history.
The Paterson-born producer/DJ posted a photo of an Ensoniq ASR-10 sampler that was owned by Kanye West. Blaze confirmed it was the same device Ye had used at NYC’s Baseline—the historic recording studio that became synonymous with Roc-A-Fella Records. It was at this site where the music imprint churned out some of the genre’s greatest classics, most notably Jay-Z’s aught records.
“This is the actual ASR-10 Kanye used during the Dynasty, Blueprint, BP2, and Black Album sessions @ Baseline,” Blaze captioned the post, which received comments from industry figures like Juicy J and Jay Electronica.
“Yooo [Lola Damone] was just asking me about this a day or so ago and I was telling her how at one time the asr-10 was my most favorite machine ever,” Jay Electronica wrote.
“My first real machine! Love this thing,” Blaze responded. “Brother @alanthechemist also made history on this gem too.”
Kanye spoke about the ASR-10 in his 2014 Complex cover story, revealing his mom had helped him purchase the sampler at the beginning of his career.
“My mom had bought me a keyboard. Just to establish, she didn’t know—I wanted to be a freestyle biker, I wanted to draw, make video games—so she didn’t know I wanted to make beats,” he said.
“I remember one day when I was making beats in her crib, she told me, ‘Kanye, until you make money off this, it’s a hobby.’ But she’s never the type to say nothing negative toward music. She wanted to get me the keyboard with the big keys so I could learn how to play. The other keyboards had small keys, but that one had sequences on it so I could play and save it. But she didn’t buy me that one because it was $50 more. She was like, ‘I don’t want to pay for that.’ Then she turned around, totally redeeming herself, and she helped me get my ASR 10 keyboard.”
Blaze said he came across the sampler after going through some storage Thursday, shortly before Kanye hosted a listening party for his long-awaited 10th studio album, Donda. The project was expected to arrive at midnight Friday, but was absent on streaming services as of Friday evening.
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