So today marks what would have been J Dilla's 34th Birthday. He went through a lot during his time on this Earth, but he still managed to absolutly reinvent Hip-Hop from a production standpoint. No man has done it better.
For all those music illiterits, Dilla has been called "your favorite producer's favorite producer." He has been cited as an inspirtaion to Kanye West, ?uestlove, Pharrell Williams, Just Blaze, A Tribe Calleb Quest, and a lot of others I can't think of right now.
Seeing that it's the man's birthday has reminded me of how bad mainstream Hip-Hop really is. I don't feel like I need to go into the whole "Hip-Hop is dead" thing because about 95% of blogs out there will tell you that. Its not that Hip-Hop is dead, its that mainstream Hip-Hop is dead and was never really alive. When you look back on the best rap groups of the 90's, it wasn't like A Tribe Called Quest was dominating MTV and mainstream radio waves weren't exactly pumping out a lot of Wu-Tang.
Bringing this back to Dilla, Pharrell and Chad Hugo were on 106& Park a couple of months ago and were asked what producer they would like to work with, other than each other. Pharrell said Dilla and Free was like "Is that an up-and-coming producer we need to look out for?" P looked pissed and rightfully so. But that is just the way mainstream music has become. Anyways, if you want a real good tribute to Jay Dee, head over to Blind I, where their members have pretty much dedicated the entire day to the man.