Lauren Martin

His productions have become cornerstones of the technical processes and ideological approaches to hip hop, proving to listeners that the genre is continuing to evolve in new, exciting directions. However, this gold-tinted prestige surrounding him creates a problem of how exactly to introduce the new listener to J Dilla’s genius. His impressive back catalogue can be intimidating, so this triple CD offering acts as a shortened anthology — Vol. 1 presents his productions for other artists, Vol. 2 his remixes and Vol. 3 showcases his solo works from his final few albums.

All the offerings here are filled with his delicious, soulful hip-hop beats, and collaborations with artists including The Roots, The Pharcyde, Slum Village and Madlib. While some productions are laid back and melodic, others lace juicy, snapping licks seamlessly with the various vocal talents and their lyrical mastery. Overall, these thirty-nine tracks serve as a fitting tribute to the late, great wonder of James D. Yancey.

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