Here we are standing right now on what appears as the very last paragraph before Miami with tons of thangz in the pipeline to feed your appetites. We’re jackin’ back to the sound of the underground with this week’s feature dedicated to long time CT based DJ/producer Jus-Ed who’s both releasing his own label’s first comp and resurrecting his NYC residency at Elements this Sunday.
We’ve now been around for 2 1/2 years which should make you in the position of knowing clearly what we’re about. But what about us as far as YOU’re concerned ? That’s the thema of our Politics Of Dancing piece due to hit your screens this Friday. As for our new Issue (#112) NuGroove columnist JM Irie gets back in full action with a tribute to Detroit rapster J Dilla who’s passed away a fortnight ago.
May he rest in peace, meanwhile our deepest thoughts go to his people.
NUGROOVE (SOUL, JAZZ, BREAKS, BROKEN BEAT + MORE…)
Jay Dilla for ever!
It’s with an immense sadness that we’ve heard about Jay Dilla’s death on Feb. 10th.
James "Jay Dee aka J Dilla" Yancey was born and raised in Detroit's East side. Little is known of his musical upbringing, but what is undeniable is that he has become one of the most talented, innovative producers of our time. Gaining inspiration from listening to Whodini's "Big Mouth" back in the days, Jay began to try his hand at making beats by using the pause and record buttons on his tape deck. After being taught to work an MPC-60 by Amp Fiddler back in 92, J Dilla was on his way to becoming one of hip-hop's illest beat makers.
After hooking up with two high school friends, T3 and Baatin, the crew called, Slum Village was formed (Circa 1998). Jay started to polish his rhyming skills to match his dope production. As Slum Village began to show themselves in Detroit and around the East Coast, Jay was also busy getting his production noticed by other artists in the music industry. One thing led to another and by the end of 1996, Jay Dee had produced joints for the likes of The Pharcyde, Keith Murray, Busta Rhymes and De La Soul. This is how his works finally came to the attention of Q-Tip (A Tribe Called Quest) who brought him in to lend his production to their 1996 release Beats, Rhymes And Life. Jay Dee became one third of the ghost production team now known as the Ummah, which included the latest and Ali Shaheed. That same year also saw the first release from Slum Village, Fantastic Vol. I, a classic hard to find item. A chance meeting with Janet Jackson led to his 1997 remix of the chart topping "Got Til' Its Gone" single that paired Janet’s smooth vocals with Jay Dee's intoxicating drum kicks.
Now dabbling in other music genres, Jay went on to lace beats for artists like Macy Gray, D'Angelo, N'Dea Davenport and Erykah Badu.
2000 would be a stellar year, with his group Slum Village finally releasing their critically acclaimed Fantastic Vol. II through Goodvibe Recordings, he also received notoriety with many other acts. With the members of the Ummah production team partying their ways soon after the breakup of A Tribe Called Quest in 99, J Dilla became a member of The Soulquarians. Along with Ahmir '?uestlove' Thompson (The Roots), James Poyser and D'Angelo, he produced a substantial amount of Common's 2000 release Like Water For Chocolate and contributed to D'Angelo's Voodoo album.
In 2001, Jay Dee released his first solo effort entitled Welcome 2 Detroit (BBE Records). It showcased a few emcees from the Detroit area, but also illustrate the versatility of Jay Dee and his craftiness. This 16 cuts ensemble of lyrical tracks, classic instrumental covers and bouncy grooves solidified him as one of the illest producers of his era and beyond. Other albums that followed included Jaylib (Jay Dee & Madlib) as well as an instrumental series at Bling47.com and production of 2 songs - ‘Love is’... and ‘It's Your World’ (Part 1 & 2) - on Common's recent Be album.
J Dilla leaves behind a body of work which will be loved and rediscovered for years to come. His most recent album Donuts saw the light on Feb. 7th, the day of his 32nd birthday. Two other projects, The Shining (BBE Records) and Jay Love Japan (Operation Unknown) are completed and will be released next year. Meanwhile, other production work has been completed for artists such as Madlib, Busta Rhymes, Ghostface Killah, A.G., Visionaries, Truth Hurts, Phat Kat, MF DOOM, Skillz and Frank N Dank.
J’s ma, Maureen Yancey, relocated to Los Angeles in order to care for her son during his lengthy illness. On her behalf, it is asked that in lieu of flowers, any heartfelt donations to be made payable and sent to a fund which has been established in her name:
Made Payable to Mrs. Maureen Yancey - Donations can be mailed to:
Maureen Yancey 132 N. Sycamore Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90036
Bank Wires can be sent to: Wells Fargo Bank of Los Angeles, CA
Routing Number: 122000247 Account Number: 6043250676 1-800-869-3557
Please note that donations made to Mrs. Yancey are not considered a charitable deduction. This will be considered a gift of help.
J. Dilla February 7, 1974 - February 10, 2006.
And on the other side, we’re trying to keep it lively. Like 4 Hero’s Marc Mac and his new project under the Visioneers moniker with an album out on BBE late March…
The sound of Hip Hop and Jazz in a head-on collision, this is most demonstrated on tracks like Ikes ‘Mood’ and versions of the classic Nas – ‘The World Is Yours’ + ‘Pharcyde Runnin’. The project features the talents of Brad Somatik and 4Hero drummer Luke Parkhouse with guest vocals from rappers Capitol A and Voice. Marc explains : The Visioneers idea was in my head long before we recorded the first record. Visioneers is not a band, it’s a studio project. I want to pay respect to hip hop producers like Jazzy Jeff, Jay Dee and Pete Rock for introducing me to Jazz and I needed to produce the tracks like hip hop records that sound phat in a club and not like dinner Jazz, it’s about reclaiming Jazz!
And in the same vein, Dego & Marc have also announced that they’re working on the new album with none other than Larry Mizell from the legendary Sky High productions unit… reclaiming jazz indeed! IRIE