Posts Tagged ‘Jay Dee’

“It’s crazy how I have so much pride in something that I had such a minuscule role in making great” – jolowitz. Couldn’t have set it better…without…….myself.


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I don’t think we’ve ever posted a snippet of a song here at BEATSPILL, but I am far too shocked and excited not to post this. I really didn’t think this would ever happen and even if it ever did, I was a bit skeptical of how it would sound. Nas and J Dilla? But damn that wuz nice.

Nas uses Dilla’s “Gobstopper” from his classic album, Donuts and spends half the time paying homage to the legendary producer (as many seem to do who use his beats – makes some sense). The final cut is sure to be dope.

Here’s the instrumental for your listening pleasure:

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You might think I’d be the first to cynically smirk at the idea that one cannot be fully in-tune with the music he is listening to, until he finds himself nodding along in the environment in which the sound was actually produced. Well, I’m not.

A few weeks ago, on a return trip from Princeton University, I found myself strolling through the Penn Station neighborhood, bouncing along to the beginning of Amplified, Q-Tip’s dope solo album he co-produced with the late, great J Dilla. “Wait Up” had me carelessly jumping up and down 34th Street, feeling just as live as the City itself. Then “Higher” began and I realized that I was nodding to something new – I had never heard these songs in transition before, meaning I had never actually listened to Amplified as an album. It must have been a 75 degrees and sunny early autumn day – the best the North East has to offer, and nobody seemed to notice. Millions of people were sprinting every which way, running from the clock monster. And there I was, just dancing along with my oversized backpack, envious of nobody.

It was the perfect opportunity to finally hear Amplified in the manner it was meant to be understood. I felt the bounce of the city pervading my veins. I was milking NYC for it’s fresh inspiration – it’s unmatched stimulus, with nowhere to channel it but through my headphones. I moved and grooved passed the construction workers, policemen, hotel clerks, bikers, bankers, and the homeless, listening to songs of 15 years past. I was in this massive, lively city doing something different than everyone in sight. I was Q-Tip. I am Q-Tip.

Now, let me tell you, this project is amazing…I mean, obviously. It is Q-Tip and J Dilla. Have you ever heard of Beats, Rhymes & Life? Just subtract Phife and add a few years. Anyways, “N.T.” did things to my body that no lady could ever dream of doing unless she’s Erykah Badu. Just listen and you’ll understand. But let me tell you: it won’t be the same sitting at your dining room table as prancing around the Big Apple.

Busta gets me hyped!

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Dedicated to the man who should win every award at every BET Music Awards Show. Listen and/or weep.

More Dilla




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This is what I’m doing today. I’m looking forward to getting lost in the music.

Da Inner Soul of Yancey

Some of the opening words:

“Compilation of classic De La over Jay Dee joints. See Dilla didn’t just produce for us, he was an inspiration, and often a kickstart to many De La albums. A soft-spoken dude, his style and approach to producing will forever leave a loud imprint on hip hop.”

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Slum Village dropped this new track yesterday on what would have been J Dilla‘s 40th birthday…wow. What would hip hop be like right now if he was still molding the best talent these last 8 years? This is definitely a different sounding Slum Village track but I kinda dig it.

NOTE: Just a reminder, BEATSPILL Radio’s second annual J Dilla Tribute Show will be going down this Monday from 6:00-8:00pm EST on WMUA 91.1FM. Come vibe and/or learn about the greatest producer ever.

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With the anniversary of Jay Dee‘s death about a month away, Phife releases a personal tribute letter to the late, great producer, in the form of “Dear Dilla.” The beat, sounding very much like “Hold Tighhht” by Slum Village, brings us back in time to when A Tribe Called Quest was fading out with the emergence of the Slum and their classic album Fantastic, Vol. 2. Phife even begins the track like Q-Tip did when he was featured on “Hold Tighhht.”

Note: This appears to be the first single from Phife Dawg’s upcoming album, MUTTYmorPHosis – word.

Note #2: Usually I would save something like this for a Dilla Sundays post, but that is just too far away.

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This song is perfectly perfect. After umpteen listens, I cannot find a single thing wrong with it. Everything is on point.

I’ve been digging into Erykah Badu‘s discography since returning for Winter Break and I can’t stop listening. I’m obsessed to the extent that it’s hard to listen to anything else without itching to return to the smooth, absorbing music that describes Badu’s essence. She has such a grasping voice and a vibe you can’t refuse. With J Dilla producing a beat for her, nothing could be better. Dilla takes a more modest, less experimental, jazzy approach when working with Badu. I’ve come to appreciate more and more Dilla’s ability and willingness to adapt to the style of music the artist he is working with employs.

Erykah Badu delivers some incredibly interesting inside information about what it was like to create with Jay Dee. If you’re a Dilla fan this monologue, as she talks about “Didn’t Cha Know“, will be fairly fascinating:

I went to Detroit to work with this cat that I heard a few tracks from that drove me crazy. Common took me over there, we went down to the basement, Common left and Dilla and I sat and talked. He had records wall to wall like it was a public library and he goes, “OK, I want you to look for a record.” I’m looking through these organized, tightly packed crates, and I just pulled out one record and the artist was Tarika Blue. I liked that name. I put on the first track [“Dreamflower”] and I fell in love with the song and I kept playing it over and over again and I said, “I want this.” He showed me how to loop a small part of the bassline, he was very generous in teaching you and letting you be hands on. Then I left the room and when I came back he had looped some drums to a small sample of the song and I started to write to it. I came up with the Ooooh, heeeey melody. I wrote for a few days and then the song came to be. I’d hike down to his house in mittens and a scarf. I just kind of stayed down there and worked until we got the things the way that I liked.

My songs sound different from everyone else’s Dilla songs. The sound is a little bit more bass heavy and the frequencies are definitely different than most of the songs he does, because it’s his world. But when he allowed me to come into his world, it became another kind of world. I think he allowed everybody that kind of space and that kind of freedom because he was so super creative that he would go onto something else while we learned the first part. He was ultraviolet, cosmic, dark. He went to aeronautics school so of course he was a mad scientist mathematician. I don’t know, you can’t really dissect what he was.”

You can read more Dilla stories at The Fader

If this track is particularly familiar to you but not because you know this song, it is likely because J. Cole heavily sampled it in his song “Too Deep For The Intro” from his mixtape Friday Night LightsUntil I made the fairly obvious connection between the two, I had never considered what a J. Cole – J Dilla collaboration would sound like, but “Too Deep For The Intro” is a great song and that is with Cole using one of Dilla’s chiller beats. J. Cole can handle much more upbeat vibes. I’d imagine they could come up with a creative duo name like Cilla Js, or something, too.

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It seems that everything he touches just turns to gold. You just have to go with your gut and hear this one.

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The thing that I admire most, or I should say one of the things, is that J Dilla has introduced me to so many artists that as an individual growing up this day and age I may not have been introduced on my own. There’s heaping piles of garbage creeping through miles of commercial radio airwaves. He has saved me from slipping into the trap that is today’s music scene, no pun intended. This song is a great example. I don’t know if I’d have listened to Phat Kat if it wasn’t for their 1999 Dedication to the Suckers collaboration, which is a coincidentally titled project given what I just scribed sentences previous.

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