Dillanthology

07.04.09

This compilation of J Dilla’s productions for other artists is more of a primer for dilettantes than the fanboys who will probably already own most of these tracks. Nevertheless, it certainly reveals why so many of those fanboys fall over their original Adidas shelltoes to get their hands on anything bearing his name, and why so many of hip-hop’s great and good beat a path to Dilla’s Detroit door before his death from a rare blood disease in 2006. A producer with the old-school ethic of Pete Rock rather than the multimillion special effects of The Neptunes, Dilla had an offbeat touch all of his own. Whether the smooth neo-soul of Amp Fiddler, The Pharcyde’s reflective rhyming or Busta Rhymes’s more guttural aggression, Dilla’s trademark was a loose funk which made them all sound as dusty as the old records he slavishly scoured for samples, but he was coating them in pure gold dust. (8)

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