James Dewitt Yancey (February 7, 1974 – February 10, 2006) aka Jay Dee, J Dilla.
What compels a man to spend endless hours in his basement making beat after beat and be so enthralled in the music that he forgets to eat? Or to go on a European tour and perform from his wheelchair while suffering from TTP and Lupus? Or to continue making music from his hospital bed while on dialysis?
It was always about the music and he was so meticulous. Whether it was the choice of sample, his chops, or his slightly off beat placement of drums — it was all deliberate,
even especially the “flaws”. The imperfections in his beats gave his music life and soul — it made his beats more human, less synthetic. The genius of Dilla is found in these subtleties. The little nuances of his unquantized drums gave his music a groove like no other. His beats spoke volumes even before a single word was recorded onto them.
It is this that compels a 40-piece orchestra to do this. Or for one of the premier colleges of music to add a J Dilla ensemble to their curriculum. It is why five years later after his passing, there are still countless tributes dedicated to this great talent that left us way too soon. And despite leaving such an extensive catalog, he left us wanting to hear more — and wanting him back.
Five years ago we lost one of the most influential producers/beatmakers in hip hop history. His legacy lives on — he is immortalized and celebrated through his body of work, a catalog which serves as the foundation for so many hip hop classics. Man, I could write volumes about this man, but it still wouldn’t do him justice. Better for his closest friends and family to tell you than me:
This week we pay tribute to J Dilla by sampling, Don’t Say Good Night by The Isley Brothers, which was used on “Bye” from Dilla’s Donuts and “So Far To Go” from Dilla’s The Shining and Common’s Finding Forever album. peace, illa.
Don’t Say Goodnight by The Isley Brothers
Featured Beats and Producers:
Kaarawan feat. Little Brother by Chrizo (Las Piñas, Philippines)
Fireworks (One More Four Dilla) by Gee (Toronto, Canada)
Valen Timez by Flava Matikz (Q-York City, Philippines)
I Wanna Love you feat. Deep Surface by JedLi of People’s Future (Manila, Philippines)
Petita’s Dance by D (Lipa, Batangas)
Sayo lang by Dondabeats (Paranaque, Philippines)
Right by Agent Smith 78 (Chicago, IL)
Over and Over by Sideways (Orlando, FL)
It’s Time For Love by DJ Spinz (Makati City, Philippines)
The Prom I Never Had by Blackph03nix (London, England)
The Rulers Back by PMBeatz (Washington, DC)
For HER by Tictac Productions (Toronto, Canada)
Loops for Dilla by LateNite (Antwerp, Belgium)
Dilla Tribute by Ambush (North and South Carolina)
Good Night by Justin de Guzman (Manila, Philippines)
Good Night Love by Defurious (Davao City, Philippines)
Again and Again by The Lone Stranger (Portland, OR)
Don’t Say… by C. Bran (Charlotte, NC)
I Wanna Love You by Dan Electric (Toronto, Canada)
Reprise by Freshvilla (Orlando, FL)
Another Song Which Uses This Sample:
So Far To Go feat. D’Angelo by Common (Prod. by J Dilla)