Thursday, February 25, 2010

Dilla, Nas, Pun & Some Musings

I saw someone promoting a Dilla night in Philly rechristian the town Dilladelphia. I liked that. Bullshitting with Swervewon one evening we came up with Dillauary, definetly not as cool but the point remains the same. Anything we can do to keep James Dewitt Yancey's name alive and in the mouths of the public the better everything will be. This mans beats have been praised by far sharper tongues than I but his beats truely can be anything. He flips styles no one fucks with in ways people never would of found imagineable before him.

With his passing we all lost. Music lost. Heveans band just got a little bit stronger. Just think about what he and Marvin are cooking up? People hold Dilla in high regard for this very reason, he was supremely dope. This has led to posturing from people wishing they had been part of the band wagon and it inevitably leads to a person being asked what their relationship is with Jay Dee's music.

It doesn't matter. People are listening and that's what matters. I took from Dilla a desire to find new things. New sounds, sounds I wouldn't think about getting down to. How has Dilla affected you?

To honor Dilla in this, what could only be called his month, Cookin Soul and Squeak Boogie both dropped blend tapes using the mans beats. The trio from Spain (Cookin Soul) pulled double honoree duty by chosing Big Pun's rhymes as the words to grace the music. It's a great choice. Squeak Boogie slected Nas and it is also a great choice.

Both of these emcees have never rocked a Dilla beat (to my knowledge) and both of them sound pristine over the slected tracks. These kind of blend tapes are always a risk but thankfully they were done with taste and class rarely seen. These are both projects I will returning to. Cookin Soul only loses a a few points due to their use of stamps but it's understandable, brand yourselves fellas!

Aside from this minor infraction the production team demonstrates their ear by digging deep into the Dilla vaults and match not only tempos but timbre and delivery, energy and the overall vibe. Although Pun's legacy may be slightly more slanted towards his lady loving player jams, Capitol Punishment is one of the quinetessential 90s NY Boom Bap albums. What NYC was then Detroit was and has reamined, if not deteoriated to an even worse state of affairs. Musically Jay Dee is a compatriot of that era but he wasn't afraid to diversify and expand upon that base. Needless to say you hear some hard core knockers with Pun's ferocious delivery shredding it. Something tells me these two are looking down proud. Don't sleep on the interview interludes either, some great stories about the man!

When it comes to the Nas mash up, it only serves as yet another reminder of how poor an ear Nasir Jones has when it comes to selecting a beat. I'm generally pretty tolerant of an artist making their choices for their own reasons but hearing this it just pisses me off that a voice so talented has been wasted on more than a few cheesey, lame, unmoving pieces of hot trash. Squeak Boogie is a saving grace.

Selecting a varied array of verses from Nas' catolog this tape sees songs from across his career used and a number of guests as well. "Affirmative Action" is here giving the Firm comrades a shot on that Dilla magic, AZ gets another shot with the always great "Lifes A Bitch." Olu Dara's trumpet is missed at the end but given that you will probably be rewinding it before the end multiple times just to hear both of them straight slaughter Dilla's stuttering sampled piano melodies, you probably won't notice to much. This tape is another great example that when done right Nas blend tapes are better than his albums.

If you want to hear the Dilla Dawg, Nas & Big Pun just on some raw and pure Hip Hop shit then this is that uncut straight for your vein. Download and inject.

Download Dilla x Big Pun "Big Dilla"

Download Dilla x Nas "DillMatic"

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