As any well-informed Hip-Hop head would know, Dilla month is upon us. The groundbreaking producer, who would have turned 38 last week, has undoubtedly prompted music fans across the globe to make personal, often deeply meaningful, connections to his timeless productions. We here at The 5th are no exception. That being said, I brought together some members of our crew to talk about some of our favorite Dilla classics. Hit the jump to read our selections.
“My favorite Dilla beat of all time is Slum Village’s ‘Fall in Love.’ Hands down. My favorite sound in the world is the warm tones of a Fender Rhodes and to hear that tie in the hollow echo of the snare with the mellow cadence of the hi-hats simply results in a beat that’s absolutely timeless. Right from the second that the indelible ‘One, two’ pierces the simple drum pattern, things just get classic.”
“If you want to encompass a song/video combo that embodies everything I love, here it is. Dilla on the beat. Pharcyde on the verse. Los Angeles in the background. Spike Jonze on the cinematics. Sulp, yeht demrofrep ti sdrawkcab. “
“Pick a J Dilla favorite beat?! Seriously, is this possible? I don’t know. But I will say, ‘The Look of Love pt. 1’. Three reasons: 1. I love Slum Village 2. Play it on the piano 3. Can this beat ever get old? NEVER, EVER. You may not know every single beat he’s ever produced but THIS ONE you must know along side ‘ So Far to Go, ‘Runnin’ … Imma stop before I get carried away. “
“Having a drumming background, I may come at this completely different. As much as I enjoy the difference in rhythm of ‘Derailment,’ (mostly because of the bass), I enjoy ‘Air Signs’ more. Pauses like that when playing the drums are always fun to work with.”
“My favorite Dilla beat hands down is ‘The Light’. I mean, part of it is the emotional connection to the song via Common’s verses, but the simple fact that Dilla didn’t really touch the Bobby Caldwell sample but built around it to make a classic track. Dilla’s other productions have him chopping and screwing and looping whatever samples he chose to use, but with ‘The Light,’ he just let the music be and maximized it the best way he could.”
“My favorite Dilla beat is Busta Rhymes’ ‘Show Me What You Got’. J Dilla had a gift for bridging the gap between music fans of different genres, and this production is a shining example of that. Plus, the fact that he could flip that Stereolab joint so skillfully and inject such high energy into such a mellow track just shows his keen ear for music of all kinds. I love this beat, with Busta on it, with Madlib on it, or just by itself. The vibes are beautiful.”