In Memoriam | J Dilla | 1974-2006 | “We reminisce over you”

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A lot of people don’t know this, but before I went to law school, I worked at a small boutique entertainment law firm in Santa Monica, CA.  One of our clients was the production company that had signed Slum Village as an artist.  One of the first albums I got my entertainment law hands dirty with was “Fantastic, Vol. 2”.  I took great pride while working on the project because I knew there was something special with the talent in that group, particularly the talent of the producer J Dilla, who produced the ENTIRE album, which is amazing.

When I entered my second year at law school, I decided to work part-time, splitting my time  hustling in the class room, and hustling in the office.  Though J Dilla decided to move on from Slum Village, he produced a couple tracks off of Slum Village’s next album, “Trinity (Past, Present and Future)”.

James Dewitt Yancey, pka J Dilla, born February 7, 1974, passed away February 10, 2006 from a blood disease, and I remember feeling a great sense of loss.  He was part of my professional evolution and maturation, and is a reason why I love this business so much.  To work, albeit somewhat remotely, with talent makes it all worthwhile.

His instrumental album “Donuts” and his first solo album “The Shining” are 4 and 5 star albums based on my own personal rankings.  NPR, in their obituary, stated that J Dilla “was one of the music industry’s most influential hip-hop artists, working for big-name acts like A Tribe Called QuestDe La SoulBusta RhymesThe Pharcyde and Common.”

This is a terrific four part interview of J Dilla from back in 2003. You want and in-depth take of his come up and the way he produced, and what inspired, his music? You need to set aside 40 minutes of your day and listen to this interview.

Here’s a great video of man who lucked out and scored a storage unit of J Dilla’s record collection. I hope all of that wax is being taken care of.

Below are some of my favorite J Dilla Tracks.  RIP, Mr Yancey.  Truly a visionary.  Lost but not forgotten.  “We Reminisce Over You”.

Note:  If any of the links don’t work, let me know, and I’ll find an alternate version:

Happy Bday, Bob Marley!

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Nesta Robert Marley, OM, pka “Bob Marley”, was born February 6, 1945 and passed on May 11, 1981.  He is an icon in reggae music and is credits with helping the spread of both Jamaican music and the Rastafari movement throughout the world.

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  As such, rather than post original recordings of Bob Marley performing, I figured that I’d share some of my favorite covers and renditions of those songs that he made so famous.  In no particular order, here they are:

NOTE:  If any of the video links don’t work, please comment such, I’ll find a replacement.

Good music, is always good music, regardless of who sings the song.

Young bud nuh know storm (experience teaches wisdom).  Respect, Bob.

In Memoriam | Steve Marriott |1947-1991 | You, Sir, Were A Bad Ass Frontman

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I always stayed away from the band Small Faces because I knew Rod Stewart used to front that band. I recently found a copy of Small Faces’ “Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake” and when I listened to the first few tracks off the album I said to myself, “This isn’t Rod Stewart.”

Steve Marriott was the original front man of Small Faces, and to my dismay, I just found that out. He’s got a killer rock voice. Check out the 1968 video clip of Small Faces, fronted by Steve Marriott, singing “Talk To You” and “Rollin’ Over”.

I found another killer video of Humble Pie performing “Black Coffee” back in 1973.  Wow.  I wish I could sound like that.  Artful dodger indeed.

Look’s like I’ll have to look into Humble Pie now…

Happy Bday, DJ Quik!

This is one of my favorite DJ Quik singles. Quik can write and spit lyrics with the best of them. He’s also a bad-ass producer.

Here are the lyrics to my favorite verse of DJ Quik’s “You’z A Ganxta”:

See some don’t realize the power of lyrics
’cause when you rap about death you talkin’ to spirits
You see you can say the things that can help us all ball
or you can say things that make it bad for us all
fix the problem the only way is come to the source
don’t be a Trojan Horse help us change the course
everybody knows that it’s bad in the ‘hood
so check what you rappin’ about if it ain’t to the good
I did my part a long time ago I changed my views
ain’t no gang bangin’ & slangin’ just hangin’ with trues
give it up to my Creator & that you can quote
but mothafuckas still see me as a scapegoat
yeah like that night when Biggie died at Quincy Jones spot
like 400 other people yeah I heard some shots
broke away with the crowd nervous obviously
& the mothafuckas blamed it on me
What the hell!?!