Dilla: The Timeless Tribute by producer Vice Beats is an official J Dilla Tribute album released on what would have been J Dilla’s birthday 7th Feb 2020. Proceeds from this album will go to the James Dewitt Yancey foundation based in Detroit. The foundation was set up in 2015 by J Dilla’s mother to celebrate his legacy. It provides young musicians musical opportunities, a cause close to Vice Beats heart having over ten years’ experience of working with community youth projects.
This compilation is six years in the making by Bristol based Vice Beats. The fourteen tracks on the album, merge very different musical worlds of Hip Hop and Classical music with an orchestra which works perfectly. A fusion of Hip Hop, Jazz and soul. It is a feel-good positive sound experience warming our hearts to remember why we loved J Dilla and his music. ‘That Love’ (feat. Thalaassic & Vince Martin) words it well, ‘Music is universal it doesn’t matter what language you speak, it doesn’t matter where you’re are from but it exudes a love that we can all understand’.
It features an array of UK artists such as Brotherman, Jaz Kahina, Nutty P, Oracy, Habitus, Joe Publik (BorninaBarn) and many more. In addition, there are collaborators from the US, Australia, Brazil, Holland et al, including Audessey (Soundsci), Distantstarr, Risskant and Toddy (formerly Toddla Emcee). Together they bring a range of different rhyme styles, flow and delivery which work well together in perfect harmony. It is a testimony to how many people J Dilla influenced.
One of the aspects of this album which stood out for me was the list of musicians which feature from all over the world, come together to celebrate their love for J Dilla and how they influenced their lives. ‘Imagine’ (feat. Toddla Emcee, Shugs, Lupo & Sayid the Zulu) reminds us to ‘imagine if the world never had J Dilla, it would be as if MJ never made Thriller’ making comparisons to J Dilla’s effect on hip hop similar to that of MJ in pop, highly influential.
The work that has gone into this is evident in the flawless sound. Once I put it on I had to let it play all the way through, it took me on a musical journey and I was not in a rush to reach my final destination. It is an atmospherics album which gives the impression of being back and forth between a live concert and the studio. This album is a truly unique tribute with something that will appeal to everyone. Reflective, energetic and invigorating. This feels like real music and for a great cause at the same time.
Out now and available on .hhv, Fatbeats, Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Bandcamp, Amazon Music, Google play, Deezer and Tidal.
Check it out here: www.vicebeats.lnk.to/Dilla