As many of y’all should know by know i’m a great fan of the work of the late great Jay Dilla, or Jay Dee or James Yancey as was his birth name. I hold him as one of the top producers of all time, as a hip-hop producer he’s more or less a god; he had his own unqiue style, the way he chopped samples until not even the artist themselves would’ve known they’d been samples; the special way he filtered samples to give them that warm, distorted sound found on songs like the beautiful “So Far to Go” to name just one. Then of course it was his immaculate drum work, I’m not sure if ANYONE made drums sound so good and natural with that heavy ‘umph’ sound always present wether he played them live or sampled. After his unfortunate passing in February 2006, 3 days from his 31st birthday his legacy has continued to grow and is today considered one of the true legends of the game.
Another side of Dilla that is not as often talked about however is how dope he was in creating all types of music. From underground backpackers wet dreams, to tastefully carrying on the legacy of one of rap’s finest, A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul with distorted boom-bap, to jazz music and crazy instrumental work that no one would dare rhyme over and a whole album of club bangers for homeboys Frank-N-Dank in 2002. There he made many heads scratch their head that the same guy who did “Running Away” with The Pharcyde released 12” singles like the heavy “Off Ya Chest/Take Dem Clothes Off”. A mixture of Dilla meets Neptunes meets Timbaland, and on top of that a bunch of the songs from the “48 HRS” album saw Dilla playing all the instruments himself.
Maybe the most overlooked part of Yancey’s discography however is probably all the R&B and soul songs he created throughout his career (and there is a lot). And this as well soon proved that this was a lane he was right at home with, crafting beautiful instrumentals that took soul music and incorporated them with a definite hip-hop vibe to them, even on the softest tracks he ever done you rarely doubt it’s a Jay Dee production you’re listening too. This is where we gonna start today, the smoother sound of Dilla or as I call it “The Soul Of Dilla”, very relaxing and beautiful tracks and remixes with sweet vocals from the likes of Lucy Pearl, Erykah Badu, Janet Jackson, Spacek, D’Angelo, Brand New Heavies, Dwéle, Amp Fiddler, Jamiroquai, Maxwell, Vinija Monica and a host of others. Strictly hip-hop fans don’t need no worry too much tho since there’s plenty of guest appearances on here; Slum Village, T3, Jay Dee himself, Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, AZ, Talib Kweli, Mos Def and a host of others all make apperances.
So at last before we get down to business, I just wanna say that some of y’all might remember that I posted “The Soul Of Dilla Vol. 1” several months ago but here the tracklisting is slightly different, I have managed to hunt down more or less ALL the songs from the original compilation in CDQ so I strongly suggest you grab both Volume 1 and Volume 2 of this underrated Jay Dilla work. I’ve been banging the first (new and improved) “Vol. 1” for months and although I haven’t properly dug into “Vol. 2” yet, the shit I heard has all been slamming and I a nice continuation off the first. Sorry for the long ass post haha, but I just popped some pills and me******e so my mind is running right now. Any feedback appreciated as this is one of my favorite compilations (and a 2xCD at that.)
TURN IT UP!
[links and tracklists appear in the post below]