Monday, May 18, 2009

J Dilla: Beat Savior

Call me old-fashioned I guess, but nothing is better to me than coolin' out on an weekend afternoon, smokin' a blunt and listening to Dilla beats. I have my reserved theories when it comes to religion and whatnot, so I won't bother bending your mind with those. (if your one of those religious freaks that can't quite handle a transcendual comparison please stop reading this) However - while listening to some Dilla joints this afternoon, I was feeling regretful that I never once got to meet the dude, but it still seems as if I've known him my whole life.

Then it hit me.

J Dilla was Hip-Hop's Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ was supposedly a carpenter who just happened to make miracles, right? Constantly building and constantly teaching others to enjoy life for what it is, not what the kings and queens were trying to make of it...he was an social outcast, yet appreciated by the few who truly understood his message and purpose. Alas, like Dilla - his work was only fully appreciated after his tragic (and early) death.

I feel as if Dilla had to bear the cross when it came to Hip-Hop (real hip-hop, yall), because his style wasn't always accepted...especially not through mainstream. This is the same bullshit any REAL artist would have to deal with, because the mainstream controls so much of where you go and how many people are exposed to your talents. Mainstream even then had the audacity to finally bend towards Dilla's sound, but chose not to give him any credit WHATSOEVER. It wasn't until he was reunited with the earth that people started realizing the body of work he left behind and how he had NEVER stopped working, even until his last days on earth - making beats in ICU, on his death bed.

It's always the great ones who go unnoticed, but is it because we choose not to notice their greatness - or is it because we have taught ourselves to be completely oblivious to all that is great, so that when a miracle occurs its seems almost unbelievable? Dilla didn't just create music - he created miracles. Soul-shaking, heart-taking, spirit-captivating miracles. I will NEVER be able to do what Dilla has done, all I can do is learn from what he has given me - something I had in my soul my whole childhood, from the day I was born.

It's a shame I came up on Dilla so late, because I liked Dilla's stuff before I even knew who Dilla was - that's how much of an impact on my life his music made. I had been hearing Dilla my WHOLE LIFE and didn't even know it. The same vibe, the same swing you get when you hear a Dilla joint - that vibe has been in my bloodstream my whole life... to me, Dilla is like a brother I never knew, or very similar to Jesus in alot of ways. Here today, gone tomorrow - but they live on forever through the lessons they've left for us. I guess it's up me and the folks who actually care out there to progress and move forward - to do what we love so that we may too leave something behind worthwhile for the future generations to appreciate.

Dilla, I'll meet you someday.
And when I do - I'm twistin' one up while you're diggin' in the crates.
(can you believe Madlib and Jay once had a 30 blunt cypher? craaaaazy...)


PS: Totally off topic, but Cam'ron's new album is kinda dope. Like REALLY dope. Harlem, all day. ;)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Artists I'd Like To Work With (Here and Posthumous)

Since this topic always takes a "Fantasy Football" approach, I figured I'd give it a whirl accompanied with a slight explanation for each collaboration.

J-Dilla (obvious reasons; it would be more of a learning session on my end tho)
Madlib (blunted in the bomb shelter; crate diggin; b2b DJing)
Busta Rhymes (lyricist; old-school; pure energy; realist)
Chrisette Michelle (modern day Billie Holiday; fly; soulful)
Kanye West (idealist; thinker; natural genius; acts on emotion)
Common (realist; old-school; resemblance (?))
Ol' Dirty Bastard (spirited; unique; good-natured; lyricist; wild)
Eminem (talented; lyricist; realist; crazy; limitless)
Flying Lotus (adviser; kindred affection for video games; b2b DJing)
MF Doom (blaze trees; adviser; crate diggin')
Danger Mouse (funky; limitless; b2b DJing; crate-diggin)
Jamiroquai (funky; soulful; expressive; blunted; preserver)
Kurt Cobain (leader of expression; acts on emotion; idealist)
Dibiase (beatsmith; crate diggin')
Black Milk (beatsmith; b2b DJing; crate diggin)
Fatboy Slim (adviser; b2b DJing; crate-diggin)
Georgia Anne Muldrow (spacey; afro-centric; expressive; limitless)
Jill Scott (fly; good-natured; rooted; fun; inner-beauty)
Pharell (business minded; precise; fun yet efficient)
Nas (prophet; thinker; wordsmith; purist)
Slick Rick (dope; lyricist; character; realist)
Q-Tip (realist; lyricist; humble; multi-talented)
Christopher Wallace (lyricist; realist; adviser)
9th Wonder (beatsmith; adviser; old-school; b2b DJing)
James Brown (innovator; soul-power; selfless)
DJ Shadow (innovator; true-artistry)
Liam Howlett (multi-talented; advisor; b2b DJing)
Styles P (old school; realist; hardest out)

That's all I can come up with right now. I'm sure I'll be adding more as time goes on.