Hip Hop in it's Purest Form…

The Week of Dilla

James Dewitt Yancey (February 7, 1974 – February 10, 2006), better known by the stage names J Dilla and Jay Dee…

Today marks the 5 year anniversary of the death of J Dilla. Earlier this week also marked the anniversary of his birth, so I am going to hit y’all with some classics, as well as tribute material in this post.

If you are unfamiliar with Dilla’s movement, you might be surprised to find out that he was the production behind such hip hop artists like Common, Busta Rhymes, A Tribe Called Quest, The Pharcyde, and Erykah Badu. He also was a member of Slum Village, and had a successful solo career.

After his death in 2006, Dilla has remained a cult legend. His production is still being used, and has been featured on albums by Q-Tip(The Renaissance), Mos Def(The Ecstatic), and Raekwon(OB4CL2). He has been honored and awarded several times, and it’s hard to think that we have heard the last from Jay Dee.

In celebrating his life this week, several artists have recorded tributes, etc. First up is Rhettmatic’s “WHATUPDOE 09” (The J Dilla MiniMegaMix). It’s a quick mix of Dilla’s classics. Download it for FREE here…

Next up is a tribute album from NAMELESS, where he uses the same samples that Dilla used, but crafted them in his own way. Check it out and download it for FREE here…

This one is pretty f-ing dope. It came out earlier this year, but it’s a live recording of a jazz trio playing Dilla’s acclaimed album, Donuts, from the beginning to the end. The story of the performance is really cool. Check it out:

The crowd at The Local 269, a shabby New York City bar on 269 Houston Street, could not have been less interested. The bartender scribbled on his notebook, two older men talked to a woman half their age, and a gaggle of NYU students crowded a booth by the stage. Midterms were distant enough that they could drink on a Sunday. When an ear-splitting free jazz session finally died down, three NYU students put down their drinks took the stage.

“I thought Dilla was just a rapper,” asked a friend of mine who was there by mere coincidence. I began to reply, but the opening riff from “Workinonit” drowned out my voice. Maybe it’s a good thing more hip-hop kids weren’t in the house — one of them would have replied to that statement with the business end of a broken bottle.

The Detroit hip-hop producer passed away on February 10, 2006, but his influence is inescapable in 2010. The fanatical zeal of the Dilla fanbase has resulted in an outpouring of tributes, but few like this.

Stray Phrases is a jazz trio consisting of Storm Siegel on drums, Dave Mainella on piano, and Evan Crane on bass. On Sunday October 17, 2010, they covered J Dilla’s classic instrumental album Donuts from beginning to end. Metal Lungies is proud to bring you a recording of the whole set.

So make sure you download this joint for FREE here…

The West Coast’s heralded rookie is next with his tribute to Dilla in song form. He puts a few bars down on Dilla’s classic instrumental, Closer. Download it for FREE here…

Wanna know which former NBA start used to manage Dilla? How about which hip hop beef was almost dramatically altered because of Jay Dee’s production? Get ready for Chairman Mao’s 10 Facts about J Dilla You Might Not Know. It’s really a fascinating read, and you can check it out here…

Up next is NC Hip Hop cousin, Ignite Mindz & his tribute to Dilla he released this week. He raps over “Won’t Do” off of the Shining, and he puts it down for the whole state. Check it out and download it for FREE here…

Lastly is the J Dilla documentary, Still Shining, that was released this week. This documentary was recorded shortly after Jay Dee’s death, and speaks on his life and legacy, among other topics. It’s 40 minutes, so roll yourself up a cigarillo, grab a deuce, and sit back be entertained…

One response

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention The Week of Dilla « whoisBigHopdotcom -- Topsy.com

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