Tuesday, February 07, 2012

"J Dilla Changed My Life"

Happy birthday to the late James Dewitt Yancey, aka Jay Dee, and J Dilla, who would have been 38 years-old. NPR said the Detroit-based producer and rapper was "one of the music industry's most influential hip-hop artists," working with De La Soul, Busta RhymesA Tribe Called QuestJanet Jackson, Macy Gray, Common, The Roots, D'Angelo, and Erykah Badu. Dilla released his solo album, DONUTS — which he wrote and recorded while in and out of the hospital — only 3 days before his tragic passing in 2006 at age 32. (He'd been battling Lupus for 3 years.) 

DONUTS features several samples from Raymond Scott's vintage electronic tracks, including "The Tomorrow People," and "Melonball Bounce." But, as the LA TIMES reported this morning, "one of Dilla's most accomplished works comes via the idiosyncratic use of the Raymond Scott composition 'Lightworks,'" which has since been re-reworked by Q-TipTalib Kweli, MF Doom, Peanut Butter Wolf, Questlove, and Busta Rhymes. Along with other modern artists who cover Scott tunes (Gorillaz, El-P, Madlib), Dilla's work steers new fans to Raymond's originals. And like Scott, Dilla was a studio pioneer whose music and influence lives on. The J Dilla Foundation is hosting a series of global tribute concerts during the coming week, with Busta Rhymes and others. Info: here


  1. Why "Donuts"? Why not Muffins? Or Little Debbie Cakes?

  2. j dilla made a joke of everyone telling him to eat healthy by titling things with the unhealthiest foods possible (Peanut butter wolf states that in the Stussy documentary about jdee)