Big ups to Mick Boogie for this idea right here - A mixtape full of J Dilla. beats, what more could you want? Busta hops on a bunch of these tracks and it also features Talib Kweli, MOP, Raekwon, Cassidy among others. If you want to buy the collector's edition, visit here. This reminds me of the tribute article I wrote for the Inside Beat when I heard Dilla passed. I had to post this since his beats are flowin' through my ears:
As a collection of interacting artists and fans, the hip-hop music community rests its laurels on creativity, expression, and individuality. It is not often that a member of this community can embody all of these traits while remaining grounded in a foundation of humility.
Then again, it is not often that hip-hop sees an artist like Jay Dee, the creator of Slum Village whose resumé boasts collaborations with esteemed acts such as A Tribe Called Quest, The Roots, De La Soul, Common, and the Pharcyde.
Even less frequently is it forced to say goodbye to one of its most-respected members whose life ended prematurely, well before he could gain the mainstream recognition he deserved.
In a tragic event that resonated a feeling of mourning throughout the community, the quiet producer and MC Jay Dee, also known as J Dilla, died of kidney complications from lupus on Friday, February 10 at the age of 32.
As a dark cloud looms over hip-hop heads everywhere, it seems appropriate to reflect on and celebrate the life of J Dilla, who was idolized by Pharell Williams and drummer ?uestlove from The Roots, in hopes that both his musical talent and modest approach to hip-hop music can influence generations to come.
J Dilla, born James Yancey, began soaking up urban music at a young age from his parents' home in eastern Detroit. After trying his hand at numerous instruments, he discovered a strong connection to the drums that led to experiments in hip-hop production using an MPC drum machine.
In 1988, J Dilla formed the group Slum Village with high school friends Baatin and T3.
Dilla was crafting a unique style throughout the 1990s - his clear-cut, breakbeat sound that was heavily influenced by R&B, soul, and rock music combined unpredictable drum patterns and carefully-arranged samples. His talent caught the attention of Q-Tip, a member of A Tribe Called Quest, who invited J Dilla to work with him and Ali Shaheed Muhammed on Tribe's production crew "the Ummah" for two albums.
J Dilla's career was in full swing with a collection of projects under his belt, including Common's album Like Water For Chocolate, De La Soul's hit "Stakes Is High" and the Pharcyde's single "Running," in addition to his efforts on Slum Village releases. His reputation as one of the industry's hardest-working producers was growing; he produced all of Q-Tip's Amplified, collaborated with Erykah Badu on Mama's Gun, and worked on Talib Kweli's Quality.
In 2001, J Dilla embarked on a solo career on top of his industry-wide production labors, providing the vocals as well as the sonic background for his debut album Welcome to Detroit. He broke away from Slum Village to pursue a major label release on MCA, but his album was never completed. Instead, his focus turned to an independent record label project with underground beat-maker Madlib in 2002. The two, collectively known as Jaylib, released the experimental Champion Sound in 2003, which received praise from many independent music fans.
Around this time, rumors began circulating that J Dilla was suffering from health problems due to an inadequate appetite and overworking. His output slowed tremendously as he was diagnosed with lupus; ironically, the tenacious work ethic that defined him as an artist would lead to periods of hospitalization, confinement to a wheelchair, and reliance on a dialysis machine.
Still, J Dilla continued his production work and performances despite his ailments, providing two beats for Common's highly-anticipated 2005 album B.E. and one for Ghostface's upcoming album Fishscale. His second solo album Donuts, a compelling collection of instrumentals created during his time in the hospital, was released on February 7, his 32nd birthday, less than a week before kidney failure would ultimately claim his life.
In retrospect, it is heartbreaking that J Dilla's untimely death originated as a result of his dedication to his craft of making music. In the overly-commercialized hip-hop industry of today that, unfortunately, rewards flamboyant artistry more than actual musical brilliance, J Dilla was an unsung gem that offered effort behind-the-scenes without demanding the recognition of mainstream success.
It is at times like this, when the hip-hop community mourns the death of an artist that passionately offered all his energy to creating music without worrying about widespread fame or fortune, that all music-lovers must remember the true reason we call ourselves fans: the feeling we experience when listening to good music.
J Dilla touched this area of the human brain; it lies somewhere in the subconscious, where nothing else matters except for melodies and the rhythmic pounding of drums.
R.I.P. Jay Dee a.k.a J Dilla.
I'll be enjoying this one while I write one of my two papers this week, damn.
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