Thursday, 16 September 2010

SoulNRnB's Great Producers 10: Jay Dee aka J Dilla

For the past 6 months our header has been of a man crate digging for rarities in some vinyl emporium. On the day that we change the look of the blog and remove that header, it only seems fitting to have a look at that man, the late J Dilla.

Dilla became famous as producer/member of the hip hop group Slum Village and producer for A tribe called Quest. He produced what I believe to be the best Hip Hop LP of all time, Fantastic Volume 2.

As with all the producers weve visited in these mixes, the man created a trademark "boom bap" sound that changed the way Hip hop would sound over the next few years.

As for soul music, Jay Dee hooked up with the Soulquarians. The collective formed during the late 1990s, continuing into the early 2000s, and produced several well-received albums including The Roots' Things Fall Apart (1999), D'Angelo's Voodoo (2000), Erykah Badu's Mama's Gun (2000), and Common's Like Water for Chocolate (2000). 

The founding members of the collective — Ahmir Thompson a.k.a. Questlove from The Roots, D'Angelo, James Poyser, and J Dilla came together after discovering they had a common interest for the unconventional — offbeat rhythms, irregular chords, and other traits often exhibited by the underground urban music scene.

Being a collective, they included a rotating list of members, including Common, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Q-Tip, Erykah Badu, Bilal, and Raphael Saadiq.

In an interview, Common discussed the production of those albums, stating "It was one of those time period that you don't even realize when you're going through it that it's powerful".

Just as his music was becoming increasingly popular, Dilla died in 2006 of the blood disease TTP. Following his death, the hip hop community became centered upon his music and image. Many of the artists with whom Dilla worked performed or recorded tributes, and a large group of followers voiced their support for the late musician. Dilla's music experienced a rebirth as the producer gained many times more listeners than he had during his life.

He became a legend, but was always a great producer. This mix encompases all the styles he worked in, wether hip hop, Soul or Jazz.

Grizz back next week with some Lovers for you all, meanwhile tracklist in comments.

SoulNRnB's Great Producers TEN - Jay Dee aka J Dilla
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