jdilla-2

Gumsole Beatdowns: J Dilla Is Legend

R.I.P. James “Jay Dee/J Dilla” Yancey (Feb. 7, 1974 – Feb. 10, 2006)Dilla lives! It has been two years since Detroit’s great beat manipulator passed away just after his 32nd birthday. But, Dilla’s legacy is legend. I was blessed to speak to the man when I was an Editor-at-Large at the late Scratch Magazine, and Stones Throw has a copy of the story here. And when Jake Paine (Gunshow for life) was roaming the AHH halls, we did a little tribute to Mr. Yancey here.  Meanwhile,  illseed  just dropped some of his favored Dilla affiliated visuals.I’m not going to harp on Dilla’s greatness. You really should already recognize that fact. If not, a simple Google search should bring you up to speed. Here are some of the my fav Dilla joints from across his expansive catalog. Before the wolves come out, I purposely tried to stay away from the default Dilla grooves everyone checks for. That said, feel free to share some of your favorite Jay Dee/J Dilla concoctions. J Dilla “Wild” Ruff Draft EP (Re-Issue)This jammie was on the Ruff Draft EP that Stones Throw re-issued in early 2007. Two minutes and change of Hip-Hop swing, with Dilla on the rhyme. A Tribe Called Quest “Busta’s Lament” The Love MovementTribe caught a lot of flack (really it started on Beats, Rhymes & Life) because it seemed like they had lost that “low end” in their grooves. Whatever, with Dilla in the Ummah equation ATCQ added a gang of hypnotic grooves like this to their catalog. Jay Dee “F*ck The Police”Jay Dee—not Dilla; respect the nuances—on his N.W.A steez (just take note of his disclaimer at the beginning if you catch feelings). That loop and its drums are just ridiculous. Common f/ Slum Village “Thelonius” Like Water for Chocolate Ya know, heads act like Common was just an also ran until Kanye West started producing the majority of his albums. Please do the research. Common “Star *69 (PS With Love)” Electric CircusOkay okay, Electric Circus got the gas face. But I can’t front, there were a number of joints on their that I dug. “Star *69 (PS With Love)” included. Umm, pause. The Roots “Dynamite!” Things Fall ApartBlack Thought and Dice Raw go in over this bubbly ditty. This joint made it into a Volkswagen Beetle commercial (tried finding it, no luck).  Busta Rhymes “Still Shining” The ComingDamn, it’s been almost a dozen years since The Coming dropped and made plenty of folk consider Leaders of the New School a footnote. This beat isn’t too crazy, but is a subtle heater Busta gets his man all over. Busta Rhymes f/ Q-Tip “You Can’t Hold The Torch” The Big BangLately Busta’s been getting more press for his court appearances than his music. Too bad.Q-Tip “Higher” AmplifiedDon’t get me wrong, “Let’s Ride” is my joint from Amplified. But this album cut doesn’t get enough credit. “Rappers better count my presence as they downtime.” Come on b (Tip, drop The Renaissance already, damn it). Slum Village “I Don’t Know” Fan-Tas-Tic Vol. 1Fantastic Vol. 2On Fantastic Vol. 1 “I Don’t Know” is raw and barely over a minute long. On the Vol 2. re-up Slum Village tags on another set of verses and subtly refine the groove. Flipping an assortment of James Brown vocal stabs, both are examples of Dilla working magic with his MPC 60II. [“I Don’t Know” Fan-Tas-Tic Vol. 1][“I Don’t Know” Fantastic Vol. 2]

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