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J Dilla Tribute - Fallen Legend

Author: 3D
Tuesday, February 10, 2009

If you know your hip hop you’ll already be familiar with J Dilla, the supremely talented producer/MC who tragically passed away in 2006, leaving a legacy of premium beatmaking behind. With a tribute night coming up in his honour, with proceeds going to Dilla’s mother, 3D talks to Sam Dutch, one half of organisers the Main Ingredients crew, about what will happen on the night, and keeping a spirit alive.

You guys are organising a tribute night to J Dilla – for those whose hip hop history might be a little shaky, give us a bit of a rundown on the man considered perhaps the best producer to ever turn his hand to beats... How has he inspired your love of music, personally-

J Dilla was more than just a producer; he was a dope MC and kept the hip hop flag flying through some of its roughest times creatively speaking. Throughout his career he worked with artists such as ATCQ, Pharcyde, Busta Rhymes, Skillz, The Roots, Q Tip, De La Soul, Common, D'Angelo, Bilal, Erykah Badu… the list goes on.
As far as J Dilla inspiring me personally he made me fall back in love with hip hop around 1998 when I was becoming disillusioned with a lot of the music coming out. Around that time I brought DJ Shortee Blitz out to Australia on tour and he told me I had to listen to this cassette tape, which was Slum Village’s Fantastic Volume 1. The combination of the rhymes and J Dilla's beats brought back what I thought was missing from hip hop. From that moment on I always kept a keen eye out for anything J Dilla was involved with.

And you’re raising money for his mother – what’s the story there-
Basically when J Dilla passed away he had money owing on his medical costs, amongst other things, and the people who took control of the estate have more or less shut out his mother Maureen 'Ma Dukes' Yancey from seeing anything, which is disgusting considering she was by his side throughout his illness and lost her house by doing that.
It’s got to the point where his two young daughters are not seeing much if any money either. His mother was also diagnosed with the same illness that J Dilla died of, Lupus, so she has medical costs and other things to pay for just to get by on a day-to-day basis.
The money from the night will be directly deposited into Mrs Yancey's account. While we may not raise a crazy amount there will be a sum where we can show the love had for J Dilla in Sydney.

Who’ll be playing at the tribute night- 

Firstly I got to big up all the DJs on the night as they are all performing for free, they are Katalyst, Naiki, Ology and Josie Styles. I also got to big up Ben Funnell for the dope design he did for the flyer, which was also for free. The night will be full of J Dilla’s rhymes and beats, along with music and artists that were influenced by him. We are also hoping for one or two surprise guests through the night; I can assure you a night of quality music.

Finally, give us a top five all-time Dilla tunes we must check out.
Damn... that's hard because he just had so many joints. Here is what I am feeling right now though…
1. Slum Village - Fall In Love
2. J Dilla - Fuck The Police
3. Common - The Light
4. Slum Village - I Don't Know
5. Pharcyde - Runnin'
6. ATCQ - Find A Way
7. Slum Village - Players
8. J Dilla - Make Em NV
9. Keith Murray - The Rhyme (Remix)
10. De La Soul Feat. DJ Premier and Yummy Bingham – Much More
WHO: The Main Ingredients presents 'The Genius Of J Dilla' featuring DJs Katalyst, Naiki, Ology and Josie Styles plus special guests at Ruby Rabbit, Oxford Street
WHEN: Friday 13 February
MORE: $15 entry, with all proceeds going directly to Maureen 'Ma Dukes'
Yancey, the mother of J Dilla