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Remembering J Dilla

This week, hip-hop heads across the world celebrate the life and music of the one and only, J Dilla. And while loving his music and appreciating his contributions to hip-hop culture remain a year-round activity for his fans, we especially remember him today.

On this fateful date - February 10, 2006 - J Dilla, born James Yancey, passed away, turning 32 years of age just three days earlier, after a battle with Lupus. He will forever be respected as one the greatest beat makers of all time even though his time in the mainstream spotlight was virtually non-existent.

One of the original members of Detroit’s Slum Village, Dilla was responsible for producing some of the most heralded hip-hop and soul/R&B records of our era including songs by artists such as The Pharcyde, A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, The Roots, Common, Busta Rhymes, Mos Def, Talib Kweli and Janet Jackson to name just a few.

Of course, by now The Nation of O is very well aware of the influence that J Dilla has had on my music. If you haven’t yet, be sure to download my tribute to him: Dilla Pickles – The 2 in 1 album/mixtape.

Check out some of these classic bangers either performed by or produced by J Dilla:

"Won't Do" - J Dilla

"Drop" - The Pharcyde

"Climax" - Slum Village

"Stakes Is High" - De La Soul

"The Light" - Common

"Got Til Its Gone" - Janet Jackson

3 comments: on "Remembering J Dilla"

D. Ross said...

"Drop" by The Pharcyde is one of my favorite old school tracks. I remember watching the video on BET and Yo MTV Raps and just wondering how the hell they did it. The beat to that song is catchy as hell. As soon as it starts you know what song that is and start humming to it. I had no idea Dilla did that song. Thanks, dude.

Dan-e-o said...

"Drop" is one of the greatest videos ever.

And yeah Dilla did almost the entire "Labcabincalifornia" album.

Interestingly, that is something I hear often. "I didn't know Dilla did that!"

The man was never officially credited for Janet's song either. He did more than we realize...a true icon.

D. Ross said...

Mt friend Camille is a huge Dilla mark. One time at a club she said that every song the DJ played that was Dilla related we'd have to dance. My ass was worn out! He was a busy ass dude for being so young.