Various ArtistsDillanthology 2: Dilla’s Remixes for Various Artists
Hip hop is a sadder place without the talents of the late J Dilla, aka Jay Dee, aka James Yancey. One of the best beat makers hip hop has ever seen, and an accomplished emcee in his own right, it’s ironic that only after his death in 2006, his star truly began to rise. Despite being responsible for albums and tracks belonging to such hiphop luminaries as Common, Busta Rhymes, Janet Jackson and The Pharcyde, he largely remained an unsung hero.
Following the release of Dillanthology 1, a collection of tracks Dilla produced for other artists, Rapster Records have released Dillanthology 2. It’s fitting that Dilla made his name doing remixes for other artists, as this album picks up where he began, showcasing his ear for sound and his ability to remix and remodel tracks with effortless ease.
A mixture of some of Dilla’s well known tracks; his own De La Soul led horn break on Stakes Is High ups the funk and includes a few verses from Mos Def & Enola and on Y? (Be Like That) by The Pharcyde, he drops the repeating female background vocal. His former group Slum Village is represented with a remix of Fall In Love, while Busta Rhymes’ hard hitting Whoo Ha is also given the Dilla treatment, slowed down to a groovy mid tempo summery beat.
Masta Ace’s Sittin on Chrome is included, remixed by Ummah (a group that featured Q-Tip, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Raphael Saadiq and Dilla), as well as Without You by Lucy Pearl, which is stripped back to its bare essentials, leaving the vocals to take centre stage. Some of the other lesser known tracks prove to be just as interesting in their own right. Four Tet’s As Serious As Your Life features a bass almost plucked repetitively, The Moods’ Secrets of the Sand is a journey through a groovy soundscape, while Artifacts’ The Ultimate is a short bouncy number filled with soul. All in all, it’s an interesting look into one of hip hop’s most creative minds. J Dilla’s legacy is sure to live on through his music. It’s unknown just how much more of his treasures are yet to be uncovered, but if the quality of his production and remixes is anything to go by, hip hop is in for one big treat.
1. De La Soul - Stakes Is High ft. Mos Def & Truth Enola (Rmx)
2. The Pharcyde - Y? (Be Like That) (Jay Dee Rmx)
3. Masta Ace - Sitting On Chrome (Ummah Rmx)
4. Slum Village - Fall In Love (Rmx)
5. Four Tet - As Serious As Your Life (Jay Dee Rmx)
6. Busta Rhymes - Whoo Ha (Jay Dee Rmx)
7. Artifacts - The Ultimate (Jay Dee Rmx)
8. Moods - Secrets Of The Sand (Rmx)
9. Spacek - Eve (Jay Dee Mix)
10. DJ Cam -Love Junkie (Jay Dee Rmx)
11. Brother Jack McDuff - Oblighetto (J Dilla Rmx)
12. Brand New Heavies - Sometimes (J Dilla Rmx)