Watch. Respect. Happy Birthday J. Dilla. [Spotted at Frank's Spot]
A new doc (J.Dilla : Still Shining) on the late, great J. Dilla/Jay Dee that drops on February 7, his born day. Three days shy of the fifth anniversary of his untimely passing. The beats remain. [Peeped at Eskay's Spot]
Favorite Dilla beat today is “Fall In Love” off Slum Village’s Fantastic Vol. 2.
“F*ck this rap shit, I’ll listen to classical…”—Baatin (RIP)
Back in ’98 I was Hip-Hop Music Director at WTJU in Charlottesville, Virginia. The nondescript position made me privy to treats like an advance copy of A Tribe Called Quest’s then last hurrah, The Love Movement. OG promo man Al Lindstrom had been servicing me with music from Jive Records for a minute so after a few pestering phone calls (e-mail? nah.) he sent me the CD advance, making me that ninja amongst my inner circle of Hip-Hop heads.
The proliferation of MP3 blogs has pretty much deaded proper advances for most major label releases. More often than not, the best you get is a watermarked copy with annoying commentary to discourage bootlegging or worse yet, the corny listening session where every ass kiss journo raves about how this is the album of the year.
The point of this inaugural Rare Joints post is that The Love Movement’s advance included the above intro track featuring Mos Def pontificating on the loveliness of ATCQ. The inclusion of the minute and change track probably wouldn’t have made the album’s initially lukewarm reception by fans and critics much better. But to its credit the The Love Movement has aged well in the ATCQ cannon, in no small part due to Jay Dee/J. Dilla’s sonic influence.
Video: A Tribe Called Quest Reunites for Phife Dawg’s Diabetes Benefit [Nah Right]
Video: Jay Electronica, Talib Kweli & Mos Def Perform @ The Knitting Factory [The Smoking Section]
This Roots cover meant a lot to the kid being that it was my first for what I’d say was a prominent publication since Scratch Magazine was owned by Harris Publications (XXL, King, Guns & Ammo, et al.). No disrespect to the folks at Elemental Magazine, who blessed me with my first feature stories and ill cover looks with Pharoahe Monch, the Beatnuts and Mobb Deep, amongst others, before its owners bailed on like, everyone. That’s a story for another post, though.
Anyway, the cover, and issue in general, was especially dear to me since not only was it a damn good story on Jimmy Fallon’s new band but also included was an interview I conducted a couple of months prior with the late, great James “J Dilla/Jay Dee” Yancey. We had actually been holding the story, waiting to get another follow up interview with the man—really, no amount of time talking beats with Dilla could be enough—but unfortunately we got word of his passing while EIC Jerry Barrow was locking in the Roots story.
Bittersweet circumstances for sure—we even got hate mail for not putting Dilla on the cover instead (note: we considered, and honestly that move might have shuttered the doomed magazine even sooner)—but as devout Dilla followers before it was fashionable I think we did the man justice.
[Audio http://www.archive.org/download/Dynamite_183/06Dynamite.mp3%5D The Roots “Dynamite!” (Prod. by J Dilla)
Quotes that didn’t make the Roots story (via Scratch Blog)