hey, so a few folks have suggested i do one of these. i'm a relatively new reddit reader, (hope im making this post correctly??), but i'm game to share info of whatever sort you all find interesting. FYI, my best interests/insights/thoughts may fall beyond the typical "artist" realm, so feel free to take it wherever. im not here for any ego stroking. let 'er rip!

EDIT: WHEW! kudos, reddit! im trying to get to all of your questions...its tough! thanks so much everyone for posting, and for the kind words. i appreciate it. if i skip your question, it may be because it's already answered in here, fyi. wish i could get to them all! gotta handle my handle for a bit, real life beckons- back later.

OK-think im back for a bit, i think(lots of spinning plates over here, but im a reddit fan, so i wanna knock it out of the park if possible). digging back in!

EDIT #3: OK, i made a dent here, sorry to all the folks i havent gotten to. i'll do my best, but im heading to bed for today. real quick, i see a few recurring questions, so i'm just gonna put the simple answers here, to cover it all.... 1)what do i use to record? Protools on a computer, and an MPC. 2) how did i "make it"? a combination of luck and persistence. that's the best i can tell you. do it for the fun of it, so if it doesnt take off, you arent at a loss. 3) whats my "inspiration"? this is almost too broad to answer, but in short, A) life, and B) music is a part of the fabric of my life at this point, so it is just there, for better or worse, at all times. it's how i've come to interface with the world in many ways, so i dont really need to look for it. there are an infinite number of things in music that i will never learn/accomplish/do, so its not like im constantly exhausting its' possibilities. hope that makes sense.

Comments: 3494 • Responses: 60  • Date: 

reefine986 karma

No questions, just wanted to say you are a fuckin' legend. Keep doing what you do.

RJD2RJD2578 karma

lol, thanks. im no legend, though....still wake up everyday wondering how i can beat the last song/track/remix i did....daily struggle!

reefine218 karma

You are my most starred artist on Spotify for the last month!

RJD2RJD2420 karma

tite. sooo tite.

asks_about_anal676 karma

Is it important to you that the girls you date to be into anal?

RJD2RJD2660 karma

lol, what else should i expect from your user name? its not a prereq.

RJD2RJD2431 karma

oh, one other thing....dont be alarmed if i dont respond immediately...i'll get to all the questions, it just not may be with complete immediacy...

Jacques_Hammer533 karma

So I just wanted to thank you. I finished running my first 50k (31 miles) about an hour ago. At mile 29 I'm dying, and suddenly Ghostwriter comes on and just picks me up and pushes me forward. Your music is inspirational and fucking awesome. You got me through the most important race of my life. Thank you.

RJD2RJD2486 karma

wow, that is RAD!!!

Mount_Fuji388 karma

How did your song end up on Mad Men? Did you get anything cool out of it aside from, you know, money and recognition and stuff?

RJD2RJD2801 karma

this story is in the internet ethers somewhere, but to condense, they asked. i said no. they asked again. i said no. repeat 4 more times. then i said yes. what did i get? aside from these blackmail nudes from the entire cast i required? not much.

Mount_Fuji473 karma

So the lesson is: bug you until I get what I want. Can you send me those nudes please? Can you send me those nudes please? Can you send me those nudes please? Can you send me those nudes please? Can you send me those nudes please?

RJD2RJD2435 karma

lol. lol. lol.

[deleted]34 karma

I've noticed some of your music also being used by the BBC Formula 1 feed- were you also reluctant to allow that, or was there something about Mad Men you didn't like?

RJD2RJD2132 karma

didnt OK the BBC thing. public radio kinda does what it wants.

flakyflakes331 karma

Do you ever get tired of playing some songs live? Like I feel every set of yours probably has Ghostwriter and Smoke and Mirrors in it at the very least.

RJD2RJD21231 karma

i used to, but then i realized that a show is primarily a vessel for the crowds enjoyment, not mine. then, it actually became enjoyable.


Yeah, but you switch things up. I remember the third time I saw you you played "Ghostwriter," but this time you did it with the live band rather than on the turntables.

Was it fun learning to "cover" your own songs with a live band? Trent Reznor has said that's one of the difficult-but-fun parts of putting together his live shows. Did playing with a live band change the way you approached composition?

RJD2RJD2204 karma

yea, its really tough. i just write music and then move on, so for tours, i literally have to pore over my own songs and figure out the chords. i've literally written chord voicings that i can't figure out myself 3 months later. its weird. fun challenge, though.

astronautalis253 karma

Did you work on the soundtrack for Haywire? Or did they license your music?

RJD2RJD2631 karma

LOL LOL LOL. no. fucking dude jacked my shit. even funnier? im a fan, if he just asked, i'd have collabed. fucking corny.

astronautalis216 karma

That's too bad. It's a pretty obvious rip-off. You should sue. I'm sure they would take one look at a lawsuit and write you a check.

For people who don't know: Haywire vs. Since We Last Spoke

RJD2RJD2434 karma

i considered it, but i feel like it would be bad karma for obvious reasons...

RJD2RJD2197 karma

gotta handle some stuff real quick. back in a bit.

amerikant186 karma

My best friend introduced me to your work back in high school about 6 or 7 years ago and I dig your style, dude. I have a small handful of questions for you.

  • It's been said here on your website that psychedelic soul music has been a source of influence and inspiration. So, what "psychedelic soul music" does it refer to other than Rotary Connection and Funkadelic? Would artists such as, say, Miles Davis or Return to Forever also play a role in shaping your musical mind?

  • I tend to think that psychedelic soul music nowadays, if we tried to apply it in a modern sense, would be best described by artists like Christian Scott (a bad cat jazz trumpeter who plays lugubrious gold) and maybe Omar Rodriguez Lopez and The Mars Volta. (Not really a question, just my attempts at shooting the shit. But feel free to comment!)

  • Who are some of your favorite artists, or at least ones you respect?

Thanks for doing this AMA! "Ghostwriter" will always be a classic and a staple for my ears, and I'll never get over how smoothly you integrated Betty Wright's "Secretary" at 1:32!

RJD2RJD2270 karma

yea, sure. the idea of "psych soul" really applies to alot of things. dont think of it as a genre card in a record store. beatles, rare bird, RTF, weather report, temptations, shuggie otis, new birth, d'angelo, all made soulful music that was BOUNDARY PUSHING, and had an element of mind expansion. i dont really know where to stop. mars volta-love em. dungen-super soulful, super wig-out.

weather report is arguably my favorite band of all time. i guess? too much to choose from.

chumpacheese164 karma

What's your favourite song right now?

Also, just wanted to say a massive thankyou to you. Many years ago now I picked up a copy of Deadringer on a whim in my local CD shop and it blew my fucking mind. You rock man.

RJD2RJD2442 karma

this particular instant? "strobe" by deadmau5, cause i was listening to it yesterday while mowing the lawn. thanks!!!

tickleQ150 karma

Are you ticklish?

RJD2RJD2269 karma

oh, yes. especially on the appendix. get me there, and my leg wont stop for days.

sterlingjarcher149 karma

Is there any chance you and Print will ever do another Soul Position album?

RJD2RJD2269 karma

yup. we just did a song last month.

bobman15126 karma

Hate to be the dude that asks this, but proof? A twitter post would work! I really dig your shit.

RJD2RJD2183 karma

check your motherfuckin twitter, akh! no, i kid. sort of. not really. just check dem twitters for proof.

4226MotherNight121 karma

What's your favorite part of touring (if you like to do it all)? I figure it's pretty strenuous, but worth it. Great music man, keep up the good work!

RJD2RJD2323 karma

food. new food. meeting cool people and never seeing them again is actually kinda cool.

seablue117 karma

What's the most obscure record that you have found while crate digging?

RJD2RJD2169 karma

good question. gauging is kinda tough, as its in essence proving a negative. with that said? there's an ohio 45 i found that got used on a song on one of my albums. i can't really say what it is, but my friend dante in chicago is basically one of the foremost authorities on ohio rarities, and he was like "yea, that record is tough". which pretty much equates to what you are asking, if you knew him...

mistershifter79 karma

Dante and Damon Carfagna are my cousins. Did you dig the Express Rising album he released?

RJD2RJD268 karma

LOL!!!! thats awesome. damon. wow....blast from the past....

demongp110 karma

Hey dude, awesome music :)

My question is on Spotify, and how artists regard them. I am an incredible addicted Spotify nut, it has converted me from basically a full music pirate to being completely legit, but I keep on hearing and reading that Spotify's model is not really helping artists all that much as you have to get a shit ton of plays to really see significant returns.

What is your feeling on Spotify (and similar services)?

RJD2RJD2356 karma

i got a check from spotify last month. $.22 was the amount. that help?

kb200586 karma

wow that sucks. EDIT: what about amazon? I just bought a digital download of deadringer like 5 minutes ago. Hope you get something from that.

RJD2RJD2212 karma

that is MUCH better for artists. thanks. i see roughly 50% of that, so thanks.

Johs111109 karma

Mandatory question: Tits or Ass?

RJD2RJD2963 karma

if you remove the chocolate or the peanut butter from a reese cup, what do you get?

Tuniar106 karma

You're awesome. Umm questions... Which of your albums is your personal favourite? Is it Deadringer? I bet its Deadringer.

RJD2RJD2179 karma

i like 'em all. i think the best album may be SWLS, honestly. my personal favorite is "the colossus". there are things i acheived on that record that i never thought would have been possible 10 years ago, not in a million years.

Tuniar122 karma

Nice, maybe I'll download it!

I mean, does torrenting make you angry?

RJD2RJD2291 karma

lol, no. but you are touching on a subject that i have had some very stark realizations about in the last year; i could hold court on this for fucking days, theoretically. i'll try to delve into it here if i can, it almost warrants its own post. there have been some things posted on reddit regards to this over the last 2 weeks that have made me want to bathe myself in lighter fluid/eat my keyboard.

reefine135 karma

Go on...

RJD2RJD2477 karma

the short story is that as a culture, we are making a bunch of micro-arguments that largely miss the macro-perspective of the issue. i almost dont want to bastardize the eloquent long form answer in lieu of a shitty short form answer. give me a bit on this...if things die down, ill try to drop a monster....

kmalancer104 karma

No questions. Just mad props.

RJD2RJD2442 karma

props accepted. then recycled, and returned to you. i hath now paid it forward, and shall proceed to eat kitten souls for the rest of the day. guten tag.

wakipaki86 karma

What do you think of this video sorry NSFW folks!

RJD2RJD2103 karma

cant. un. watch.

depolarization85 karma

Who currently excites you in the music industry? Who is doing new and important things in music? Just wondering what your thoughts are and where you will go on your next release.

RJD2RJD2153 karma

im excited mostly by stuff im newly familiar with, which isnt always NEW music. i think the basic building blocks behind dubstep and post-dubstep music can be really interesting, even if the genre itself isnt always the most exciting thing to me. just blaze is doing things i respect, and can relate to. he's basically using samples alongside live instrumentation in a manner that is organic. i always wanna go forward, but sometimes using the tools or techniques of yesteryear can be a critical tool there.

where will i go next? see above....really i just will be doing things that excite ME, so the context of my own catalog is much more important than the context of "current music".

kuetwo79 karma

Are you at all related to R2D2?

Though, you definitely got the musical abilities.

RJD2RJD2192 karma

no, although i have gotten the thumbs up from lucasfilms for my name, which was cool.

Chooban77 karma

Jamie xx from The xx said that watching you perform during the Deadringer era inspired him to produce music. Are you a fan?

RJD2RJD2107 karma

yup, he's dope. i'd fuqq w/ the kid.

Polloco74 karma

when you used "who knows?" by marion black, did you have the accapella somehow, or did you just do an amazing job isolating the vocals? smoke & mirrors is one of my favorite songs of all time, and when i heard the original, i instantly picked up all of marion black's stuff.

thanks and keep up the kick ass tunes!

RJD2RJD2182 karma

lol, just the record. the title "smoke and mirrors" is actually in reference to a particular technique i used to basically give the impression of having an acapella of it.

Pyro63655 karma

Any chance you might share the technique?

RJD2RJD2488 karma

ok, i'll bite. in short, i basically took elements of sound that laid in BETWEEN the vocal lines, and layered them throughout the places in the song where there ARENT vocals. your ear then starts to perceive these as embedded in the instrumental, not the vocal. so when the artifacts appear underneath the vocal, you hear them as already being there. a bit of a "look over there" type of technique.

lecafard65 karma

Big fan here.

If you could do a track with any vocalist, who would it be?

RJD2RJD2287 karma

right now, frank ocean. he's super rad. i think earl sweatshirt is a good rapper. azealia banks can rap her ass off. i'd mess w/ her on some music shit.

Nordicskiah64 karma

Hey RJ! Here are my questions:

  1. How does Philly compare to Ohio as an impact on your music?
  2. Why is Moog so damn sexy? Have you tried their guitars yet?
  3. "Let there be horns" was made entirely from samples. How much more work did that take compared to other songs? How have copyright laws changed/influenced your music over the years? (eg Deadringer had some pretty long/complete samples of songs used)
  4. What are two other artists you would like to collaborate with in the future?
  5. I could ask so many more questions, but could I just buy you a drink after your Cleveland show in September?

Thanks for taking the time to do this!

RJD2RJD2144 karma

wow, lots to unpack here!

1-neither had too much impact. honestly, i found alot of records in ohio from around 1996-2002, so that was a factor, but i also found alot of synths in philly from like 2004-now, so... 2-the guitar is sick. i played it when i did the Moog in-factory gig. its really alot to handle. 3-i work alot faster now than i did 10 years ago on the MPC, so not as long i'd say. copyright laws havent changed as much as my place in the music industry, that's been more impacting. i think we're moving towards a world where nobody ill be able to afford to sue on copyright claims, for better or for worse. you are alluding to another big factor, so i think you already get that one! :) 4-frank ocean. i LOVE his writing. d'angelo. brad mehldau. lots. 5-sure, although i'll probably be striking my own gear, cause i'll be rolling solo and thats how the fuck i get down when i am tech-ing for rjd2.

RJD2RJD2288 karma

damn reddit format, that looks like a pigeon just shit on the sidewalk. get your return=new line right, mami

termoose59 karma

What are your top three favorite video games ever ever ever?

RJD2RJD2147 karma

OOOHHHH! great question.

the 1st metal gear on PS1. the last board was so fucking hard for me. it was kind of a milestone for me in realizing what video games could instill in a person. i literally spent 3 days trying to figure it out. eventually i did.

zelda 1, NES. where it all started for me. best game of all time,i think.

3rd pick is tough. i love the resident evil franchise. but 1st Bioshock was so epic. there's actually a dreamcast franchise called "worms" that i couldnt get enough of. played a ton during the making of "deadringer".

zewthenimp49 karma

Is there anyone you'd like to talk shit about right now? In music, politics, whatever?

RJD2RJD2318 karma

sure. mitt romney's voice makes me want to drop scud missiles on every inch the entire planet. paul ryan is a fucking idiot. how did an entitled douche who's economic plan came from a fucking book he read by a russian expat who had a very particular family scenario become an elected official? this is insane. you read "atlas shrugged", and it informed your worldview? guess what. i was fucking 16 once and read ayn rand. then i grew up, talked to human beings, and realized that shit is some fairy tale bullshit. please STFU and GTFOMF with this libertarian extremist anti-government garbage, whoever you are. go fly your ass to norway and talk to people about socialism, and then come talk to me.

stuntsbluntshiphop46 karma

Unfortunately I have no questions but as a fan that's been listening to you for almost A decade keep doing what you do! Thanks for making my eardrums feel good.

RJD2RJD255 karma

youre welcome. glad to be of assistance.

ataranlen43 karma

This a bit random, Do you ever do any volunteer work? If so, What's your favorite organization?

RJD2RJD2103 karma

i havent put much time into that in a while, unfortunately. i did a thing at CHOP a year or two back, as the wifey was a music therapist there... when things die down career-wise, i have aspirations of helping to get kids involved in music, both playing and recording.

redrobs42 karma

Hi, big fan. Are there any original songs/beats/etc that you really want to sample/do something with but can't? You know, the one that got away...

RJD2RJD2140 karma

nope. my ethos about sampling has always been that it is an exercise in resources: making do out of what you find. its VERY rare that i touch a record that is "famous", precisely because the "sport" of it for me has always been about new-new-new, for the most part. i have on occasion set myself to task to sample a known record in a manner in which it will be fresh or unknown(the "flip", as they call it), but not often. i will be doing a video exposing one of these flips in the near future, cause its burning a hole in my soul that noone has caught it...

thaddeusmt40 karma

First off: Deadringer and Since We Last Spoke were THE soundtrack to college for me, thanks for that. Also: great live show at that small venue out in Grinnell, IA a couple of years ago - unforgettable. Commissioner Crotchbuttons!

How do you weigh what you know was popular in the past (Ghostwriter, 1976, etc) with your desire to experiment with new, different sounds? (Third Hand, Icebird)

Any plans to do more work with Aceyalone? (All For U and High Lights are amazing)

What are you listening to these days?

Thanks for the AMA and keep up the good work!! (edit: spelling)

RJD2RJD270 karma

oh, that show was at the college? what a clusterfuck. ugh.

balance? i dont. i do what i want to hear myself. if they like it, great, if not cest la vie, but i cant get hung up on repeating myself. i think there are enough "constants" across my entire catalog to not be completely abrasive(backbeat, funk, interesting chord changes, etc).

acey-i've got an EP with him on it. prepping for release.

listening-mahavishnu. monk. miles. sly and robbie. justin hines.

chip chip! cheerio!

plemplem40 karma

how long have you been doing this, and what do you think how long you will continue ?

Thank you very much for all the great sound you make, when i listen to ghostwriter even my goosebumps get goosebumps !

RJD2RJD289 karma

i'll continue til i have nothing left to say as an artist. 12th year professionally.

taH_pagh_taHbe37 karma

Your opinion on pirates/piracy ? Do you mind as long as they enjoy your music ? Also, star trek fan ?

RJD2RJD2132 karma

there is not enough space on the internet for my opinions. sike. im gonna try to tackle this one when i have time. maybe tonite w/ a nice sazerack.

toneloc41834 karma

If you collab with anyone living or dead on an album who would it be and what kind of album would it be?

RJD2RJD2217 karma

joe zawinul. it would be him playing keys and me crying in the corner from sheer excitement.

Preetzmania33 karma

Why don't we see you producing more for others? I've always seen you as a great beatsmith and would love to see you do an album with some great rapper.. MF Doom for example...even though he's quite a producer himself!

RJD2RJD293 karma

simple. they dont ask. end of story.

vekko32 karma

Hey, thanks for doing this AMA. The first time I heard ghostwriter I had it on repeat for days!

I was just wondering tools you use to produce. What vst's or outboard to you find indispensable? What keeps you motivated when you're behind the computer screen and what do you do when it's flaggin a bit.

Also, when are you coming to Germany??

RJD2RJD287 karma

hey, sorry to do this-i have extensive answers on this in interviews that will satisfy the gear itch. check vice motherboard series for a better answer :


dmd5332 karma

Mr. D2,

I had the honor of seeing you play at a fraternity in Upstate New York last January, at a show that was, to put it nicely, under-promoted. As such, I got to watch you play a set to a nearly empty room.

I was surprised, however, when you put as much effort and energy into that show as any other, playing a fantastic set and rocking the admittedly small house. Major props to you, sir, for doing such a thing.

My question is this: what goes through your mind during a show like that?

And thanks again for doing this!

RJD2RJD279 karma

was this in albany? that was funny. in my mind? i was laughing at how funny it was that i was in a frat house playing to LITERALLY 4-6 people at a time, most of whom were requesting to hear top 40, and a week later i was going to be in front of 1000 screaming fans. it doesnt bother me. its fun. its a reality check. this business can gas you the fuck up if you let it. moments like that remind you that it isnt a big deal, ultimately.

DayDreamin02423 karma

Favorite beer?

RJD2RJD249 karma

right now, nastradamus belgian brown ale, corked.

PaulTheEnchanter22 karma

I stumbled on your music through Pandora Radio about 4 years ago and was hooked. When I realized you grew up in Ohio as well (greater Steubenville-area here), I couldn't help but wonder how you got your name out. What was it like in Columbus starting out? Struggles? "Big Break"?

RJD2RJD259 karma

sorry, i hate to do this, but you will get a much more eloquent answer via google. i've answered this question so many times in interviews over the last 10 years that i'd just do a shitty job of it now. internets holds the keys more better. (no big break, lotsa littles).

PaulTheEnchanter38 karma

I found no fewer than 4 different interviews asking you that question. Color me original, right? How about another question: How do you take your coffee, if you drink coffee at all?

RJD2RJD2119 karma

i make 4 macchiato's a day. i have a rancilio silvia, and a pavoni lever machine. i dont play, in short.

mistuhwang22 karma

Here & Now = absolutely genius.

RJD2RJD2166 karma

lol, thanks. i almost didnt sing on that cause i know people dont like me singing. checked my account, and i was fresh out of fucks to give.

rogerryan2221 karma

When did you realize that you made it as an artist?

RJD2RJD2162 karma

when i did built an AMA, and they did come. giggity.

s2upid20 karma

i looove your music. Are there any projects your currently working on that you'd like to share with us?

Also how'd you come up with your name RJD2?


RJD2RJD236 karma

old rap friend gave it to me.

thefutz19 karma

Love your music, heard it on pandora once and I was hooked. So thank you. When you sample, do you ever go out into the world with a recorder and get sounds to use in your music? If so, is there a favorite of yours? I've always been fascinated by this.

RJD2RJD254 karma

i've tried field recording, but im frankly more into recording in a studio. controlled environments are more conducive to what i do, artistically. crickets chirping and shit only get me so far when ultimately, im trying to make orderly sounds.

alexisbored19 karma

What are your thoughts on J Dilla?

RJD2RJD240 karma

legend. pioneer. true genius.

Hal200118 karma

Other than musicians, who are some artists that you are into? Any filmmakers, authors, painters etc.?

RJD2RJD286 karma

jim henson is one of my biggest inspirations. john carpenter. hitchcock. im way into sci-fi, always have been. alien/terminator/star wars/predator are some of my favorite movie franchises. ridley scott.

there's an element of curiousity and "world analysis" that goes into alot of sci-fi that i can relate to, creatively.

thumper3417 karma

when can we expect a new rjd2 album? The horror never leaves me cd changer!

RJD2RJD247 karma

im on the warpath to have one out in 2013

fudgemunk14 karma

What are some of your fondest memories working with Camu Tao that you can share? Thanks.

RJD2RJD211 karma

im writing a memoir. he will be a player in this. that is all. too many stories.....