Amp Fiddler, mentor to J Dilla and Parliament-Funkadelic member, has died after suffering with an undisclosed illness.
Fiddler’s death was first reported on Monday (December 18) by Faith Fanzine, who wrote on X (formerly Twitter): “Faith are saddened to hear that Amp Fiddler has passed away. The king of the new era of Detroit Soul. RIP.”
Last December, a GoFundMe was created to assist the Detroit music legend in paying his medical bills following surgery.
“After many months in the hospital, and now at home recuperating from surgery in August, Amp needs our resources to support his continued healing as he journeys back to the stage,” read the fundraiser, which generated over $75,000.
Earlier this month, a benefit concert was organized in his hometown to help raise money for Fiddler’s medical expenses, with artists such as Dez Andrés, Monica Blaire, Bevlove and Britney Stoney performing.
Following the announcement of his death, tributes poured in from around the music world for an artist who worked with musicians as varied as George Clinton and Prince to Maxwell and Jamiroquai.
Questlove paid tribute to Amp on Instagram, writing: “Rest easy brother Amp. For all those talks during the Pfunk tour. For all the music. Especially of course mentoring the one who mentored us (Dilla)——thank you brother.”
British DJ Gilles Peterson also reacted by saying: “Waking up to the desperately sad news that our dear friend Amp Fiddler has passed… from George Clinton to Dilla to Moodyman … Detroit royalty … a huge influence on musicians from all sides of the globe – he connected generations and scenes… a mentor to so many.
“One of my first ever BBC guests – Maida Vale sessions – gigs up and down the land – he put in the hours for us all – I’ll never forget those sound checks and hotel breakfasts and parenting tips – He had to deal with much personal tragedy in recent times – devastated to hear this news. RIP Amp – thank you.”
A-Trak added in an Instagram comment: “Nooooooooo…… not Amp!” while D-Nice wrote: “Man, made me tear up. Rest easy, Amp.”
Amp Fiddler (real name Joseph Anthony Fiddler) got his start in the 1970s as part of the soul/R&B group Enchantment before becoming a band member of George Clinton’s Parliament-Funkadelic, who he played for and performed with for over a decade.
In Hip Hop, he’s perhaps best known for being an early mentor to J Dilla, introducing the late production legend to his first Akai MPC, the drum machine and sampler he would become synonymous with.
Amp also connected Dilla to A Tribe Called Quest‘s Q-Tip, who in turn introduced him to future collaborators like A Tribe Called Quest, Common and The Pharcyde.
Across his lengthy career, Amp made contributions to funk, soul, Hip Hop, electronica and dance while working with artists such as Raphael Saadiq, Corinne Bailey Rae, Fishbone and many more.
HipHopDX sends its condolences to Amp Fiddler’s family and friends