Monday, March 30, 2009


Just three years ago last month the world quietly lost one of its greatest hip hop producers, and most people didn't know it then and still don't know it now. For those who read liner notes, you knew that behind some of the dopest beats rhymed over by folks such as Common, The Roots, De La Soul, The Pharacyde, Erykah Badu, Slum Village, etc., etc., etc.., you found the name J Dilla. Although he flew under a lot of people's radar, fact is he was responsible for some big beats that hip hop fans are familiar with. The folks over at Rapster Records have taken the task upon themselves of educating the masses, of sharing the memory of a beat-master that deserves a lot more recognition than he ever gained while alive.

Enter Dillathology, Vol. 1 (subtitled Dilla's Productions for Various Artists), a thirteen track compilation of cuts which Dilla produced over the course of his career for a variety of artists that you'll probably be suprised by if you aren't a devotee of Dilla already. Check it out for yourself:
1. The Pharcyde - Runnin'
2. Slum Village - Fall In Love
3. Common - The Light
4. Erykah Badu - Didn't Cha Know
5. De La Soul _ Stakes Is High
6. Busta Rhymes - Show Me What You Got
7. The Roots - Dynamite
8. A.G. Feat. Aloe Blacc - Hip Hop Quotable
9. The Pharcyde - Drop
10. Amp Fiddler - I Believe In You
11. Steve Spacek - Dollar
12. Chino XL - Don't Say
13. Frank N Dank - Push
As you can see, although the general listening public wasn't down with Dilla, musicians in the know sought him and his beats out. And now, thanks to Rapster, hopefully more people will know what they missed out on when they release this comp tomorrow. I'll share one of my favorites of the group, a relative oldie from Common that samples an even older oldie from 1982, Bobby Caldwell's Open Your Eyes.

And as a side note for Dilla fans (new or old), if you hadn't heard about it on February 22nd, Carlos Niño, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, and his 40-piece orchestra brought Dilla's music to life with an incredibly moving and creative re-imagining in contemporary chamber music style, which you can check out on the recently released (last month) Suite For Ma Dukes.

the sampled:

and a classic:

Visit J Dilla's Myspace page and the comp's label Rapster Records.

1 comment:

Danny Dance said...

I blogged about Dilla a few days ago on my House Music blog, Dance Is A Feeling, and it made me sad (but happy to reminisce). I also just made a batch of songs sampling Bobby Caldwell, so I'll email you.

Danny Dance