All Over The World: Dilla Month Begins Now


Today is February 1st and for thousands of hip-hop fans around the globe, it means the all too short month of celebrating James "J Dilla" Yancey's life has commenced. The late groundbreaking Detroit producer who touched the lives of countless music fans worldwide would have been 38-years-old this month (Feb 7) if he hadn't been taken away too soon at the age of 32 due to complications from Lupus in 2006.

He's commonly cited as one of the greatest music producers to ever live and deemed by many people to easily be the best hip-hop producer of all time. Thus in cities and countries that most Detroiters can't even pronounce, celebrations of his life, his music, and his influence will begin today.

I was fortunate enough to speak with Dilla's mother, Maureen "Ma Dukes" Yancey, yesterday evening and she herself is gearing up to hit several major cities in Europe starting tomorrow where Dilla events are scheduled from London to Moscow. She says she's most excited about the upcoming Dilla Day event happening in Detroit February 10th at The Fillmore.

That show is slated to have performances by Busta Rhymes, Jay Electronica, Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest, Danny Brown, Guilty Simpson, Phat Kat, the Nick Speed Orchestra, DJ Dez, and a host of others on the bill. Former Slum Village member T3 will be one of the co-hosts as well. Other cities are known for putting on bigger Dilla celebrations than Detroit but that will hopefully change next Friday.

The Fillmore is a huge venue and people all over the Metro Detroit area that loved Dilla's music should come out and help make this leap to a venue this size worthwhile. More info on the Dilla Day event along with the full performance line-up can be found on the Rebirth of Detroit website. As for now, let's celebrate Dilla's life with music...which is exactly how he would have wanted it anyway.

This is a slightly controversial track because the original Janet Jackson and Q-Tip song "Got Til It's Gone" was credited as being produced by Jackson, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Dilla claimed production credit as well along with his partners in the Ummmah (Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammad). As a joke, Dilla made this version above. The revenge is that, frankly, only Dilla could out-do Dilla.

This is a lot of people's favorite song from The Shining album and stars J Dilla's younger brother Illa J.

Written and recorded after Dilla had a run in with the law at his apartment in Madison Heights. At the time, he wanted to quit making music all together as police assumed he was a drug dealer because of his flashy car. He recorded this song as therapy. Thankfully, he never quit making music.

If anyone can upload a better version of this song to YouTube, please do. The song is amazing... arguably the best in the Slum Village catalog, but we suffer thru grainy footage online just to enjoy it.

The man was a genius. If you loved Dilla, be at the Fillmore on February 10th, 2012.

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