T Nation

Hip Hop Producer Jay Dee (AKA J-Dilla)


I'm suprised no one has even mentioned J-Dilla: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J_Dilla

and seeing my screen name, you obviously know I'm a huge fan.

For those who don't know him, he's an underground hip-hop producer who essentially started Busta Rhymes career and many others, and, not to mention his great music.

Other great producers who reflect J-Dilla would be: Black Milk, Symbolyc One (SFP is smoooothhh), Madlib so on and so forth.

But, seeing as he did die, and, there was little hype about it, I think that people simply knowing of J-Dilla let alone hearing, is dieing, most underground listeners aren't even aware of J-Dilla, which is a saddening fact contemplating his great music.

Here is some good music by Jay Dee which I hope will give you a good idea of his hyped music production:

Reunion (Produced by both Black Milk and Jay Dee): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qyT4Hxl4ck
Won't Do (His most popular song, although not nearly the best): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVYza0NiWuU
The Official (produced with Madlib, one of the singles off of Champion Sound): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBzoPvOAsuI
FTP (with MF Doom): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-B0Oens2HUo&feature=PlayList&p=4A18BD714C5431B7&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=12

I hope that, you hip-hop listeners have a better idea of who J-Dilla is, and, that he is in fact a great producer who has been slept on seriously.



I always his beat for Steve Spacek's "Dollars."



I really like most of his stuff. There are moments on some of his CDs where you could truely think that this guy was going to take hiphop in a new direction--it is a shame that he s gone.


I remember the beat, but, I don't remember hearing that track itself, I'm going to look into Steve Spacek a bit more :slightly_smiling:

Well BigJawn, J-Dilla still kind of feels like an entire different genre in the face of hip-hop.

Black Milk seems to converse between traditional hip-hop and J-Dilla's music styling.

Black Milk seems to sample an awful lot, and, the way he uses an mpd is quite similar to J-Dilla, in fact, most people consider Black Milk as the one taking the lime light for J-Dilla.

If only I could use my MPD 24 with magic like J-Dilla


Great thread. The only real taste of J Dilla that I got other than the slew of tracks he produced for a lot of alternative hip hop guys is the Madlib collab album. I'm gonna download donuts right now, if anyone has more suggestions (even for Black Milk) that'd be great too.

That Steve Spacek song was GREAT btw.


I don't disaree at all. Most of his stuff was coming out of another galaxy. He was one of those talents that could have given the genre a lot more variety from the West produced sound that is unfortunately dominating the mainstream. I can think of a half dozen recordings in the last year that are still using beats he created. I heard that there are literally thousands of production beats that haven't seen the light of day.

Speaking of underground hip hop and sort of an Anti-Kanye sound, there are a handful of good producers that aren't getting the attention they diserve.


:smiley: Exactly what I think, and, every once in a while, I scour youtube to see new songs by J-Dilla I've never heard of, and this is like on a monthly basis. I mean, I have 2GB of songs dedicated to J-Dilla himself, but I want them all lmao.

Kanye is pretty shit now, and, everytime I see an appearance by him on a mixtape it's usually garbage, but, one song he co-produced that is GOOD would be: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgURrEkmtug
Slum Village is great, BR Gunna is amazing (producers of the track), but, Kanye kind of destroyed the song though.

I'm actually suprised people know of J-Dilla on this forum, I thought all HOT-ROX users were Hardcore Slipknot fans or something haha.


Some extra Jay Dee info for those that don't know :slight_smile:

He handled the majority of the production on arguably Pharcyde's best album Labcabincalifornia. He produced one of the smoothest hip hop songs of all time from this album being Runnin and was also responsible for Drop, Something That Means Something and Y.

Jay Dee Also handled alot of the production on Common's Like Water for Chocolate too even though ?uestlove usually gets the recognition.. http://www.discogs.com/release/187055

J Dilla was also part of A Tribe Called Quest's production crew known as The Ummah, alongside Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed. Together, The Ummah produced Tribe's last good album The Love Movement LP.

Whilst he never got the attention in the mainstream he deserved he got it where it counts mosts. He was the producers producer.


You summed it up in an amazing way, I could not agree anymore.