Now it is time to tell my Dilla story in memory of him on February 10th. I discovered Jay Dee aka J Dilla as some others might have walking into Fat Beats in the late ’90s and hearing:
“Hey, hey, hey, h-hey, hey
What you say, get this money
If they say what you gon do today, just say
Hey I wanna get paid
Pay day, pay day, pay day”.
With this hypnotic hook and a beat that caughted your soul it was apparent I was hearing something new. So I asked the DJ/Store clerk who it was and he said that’s Slum Village. I nodded my head and headed over to the vinyl to find this Slum Village musical master piece. I found a 12″ vinyl named, “Slum Village – Get Dis Money (off of the Office Space soundtrack)” and wonder if this is the right one and take it to the counter. With a quick glance at the turntables I see I selected the right one. With the record in hand I take it home and play out the vinyl until I know every intricate loop.
So my mouth was now watering for a Slum Village full LP. In the summer of 2000 my prayer was answer with Fantastic Vol. 2 on GoodVibe Recordings. With people from Q-Tip to D’Angelo to the Roots saying they were the ones to watch I knew I was making a great purchase. I never knew I how much I would I would love this album. J-88 was “The Best Kept Secret” because I did even realize it was Slum Village until a couple of listens. With the next album not featuring Dilla I skipped it anticipating Dilla’s new solo career. It came from the most infectious song called, “B.B.E. (Big Booty Express)” off the album: “Welcome To Detroit”.
I thought to myself what could Dilla do now to continue his excellency? Well he would team up with one of my favorites emcee/producers Madlib to create one of the brilliant collaborations in the history with Jaylib – “Champion Sound”. It truly was a champion sound that every fan of either one could cross reference to find the perfect album. Three years later and now signed to Stones Throw, J Dilla would deliver his most illustrious musical adventure with an instrumental album simply called “Donuts“. Released on his birthday it would solidify his production values but it would be short lived with his death three days later. J Dilla will be called ahead of his time, one of the best on the boards but I will always remember his infectious beat that caught my ear on the summer day from a turntable and speakers.
For other Dilla inspired stories click here.