So, I’m writing this on the second anniversary of Dilla’s passing. And while he’s been gone for two years I don’t really know if I’ve ever accepted that I won’t be hearing any new stuff from him. That’s due in large part to amount of material that’s been released posthumously. It’s not an overwhelming amount of material, but it’s enough to create the illusion of a healthy career.
When I listen to Dilla on Hi-Tek’s “Music for Life” it really tears me up. It kills me to hear him talk about how passionate he was about music. And it’s not that the passion doesn’t come though in his productions, it’s just that I don’t think that nearly enough people are aware of how great a producer he was.
With Dilla, my mind will always wander into “what if” territory. I’m always going to wonder about “what if” Dilla collaborated on an album with MC XYZ or Artist G. And what really sucks is that we’ve got evidence of what type of collaborator he was on Jaylib’s Champion Sound. And that album provides a sort of glimpse into what could have been.
Imagine if Dilla had provided the beats for Talib Kweli’s Liberation instead of Madlib. Maybe Dilla and Bilal would have created an underground, independent album of genius. And that’s just the collaborations, Dilla would have certainly released some dope solo joins as well.
I guess I should be happy that people are still using his Donuts on their albums. His beats have appeared on recent releases from Ghostface, Common, The Roots and the new Erykah Badu. And Jay Loves Japan is due for an official release any day now. Plus I’ve still got The Shining, Welcome 2 Detroit and Ruff Draft, both the original and instrumental versions. So I guess I’m not really lacking for Dilla content.
Still, I miss him.
Tags: Dilla, J. Dilla