Since J Dilla’s tragic death in 2006, February 7th has regularly seen a global outpouring of mixes, live performances, club nights, radio shows, and artwork dedicated to the great hip hop producer and his music on his birthday. This year is no exception, with a whole host of interesting bits and pieces popping up across the internet. High-Rise is here to bring you a selection of the finest new Dilla tributes along with a classic mix from Benji B & Ge-ology. To kicks things off, the image below is the winning entry into So Far To Go, an art contest run by the J Dilla Foundation, and the work of the talented Joe Buck. High-Rise regulars might recognise his work from the cover art of Brooklyn Flower by Damu the Fudgemunk; check that out here if you haven’t already, and go to Joe Buck’s website for more of his work.
Next up is J Dilla: Still Shining, a documentary produced back in 2006 and released today to commemorate the life and work of James Yancey following his tragic and untimely death. There is some fantastic archive footage of Dilla DJing at shows and working in the lab along with testimonies from hip hop titans including Pete Rock, Common and Q-Tip. Video credits go to B.Kyle, check out his website for more details on the project.
Still Shining also happens to be one of my favourite Dilla beats…
Benji B and Ge-ology’s J Dilla Rarities mix is a compendium of some of the finest unreleased Dilla beats and a long time High Rise favourite. Recorded back in February 2006 as part of Benji B’s Radio 1 Xtra show, the tracklist includes several Donuts era tracks, an incredible remix of Mary J.Blige’s Ooh, and a few classics thrown in for good measure. Thanks to Rappamelo for the link; make sure you check this blog out when you have the chance and click on the image below to download the mix.
Cover bands seldom reach the top of the High-Rise playlist but Stray Phrases have been on heavy rotation over the last few weeks. The New York based jazz trio cover Dilla’s seminal Donuts in its entirety, creating a piece of music that is far more interesting and innovative than you might at first expect. It is definitely worth a listen. Click on the cover below to find more information and a download link courtesy of All The Way Live.
An easy way to guarantee the music at a particular club will be dope for the entire night is to head out to a Dilla tribute show. If you are in the UK then get yourself to one organised by The Doctor’s Orders. All proceeds from these sellout shows go directly to the J Dilla Foundation, an organisation set up to, among other things, encourage and develop the growth of music in inner-city areas. The London event is has already taken place but Mr Thing & Sarah Love are heading down to Brighton on the South Coast to hold it down in a far more intimate venue this weekend. Like this but in a smaller room:
Tickets are £5 in advance and £7 on the door if there are any left over. Click on the flyer below for more info from the Doctor’s Orders Brighton facebook.
J Dilla – February 7 1974 to February 10 2006 – Rest in Peace