There isn’t much more to say about J Dilla that has not already been preached by every Hip-Hop icon and music aficionado. The man was simply a genius. To say otherwise would be dangerous and probably cause some sort of outburst with the disciples and pupils of James Dewitt Yancey. I could go on forever talking about Dilla but let me just say this – his beats at first may seem stripped down and simple but dig a little deeper (see what I did there?!) and you’ll find that his manipulation of sampling records is a painstaking process that has been matched by few if any.
Take a look at the Los Angeles Hip-Hop group, The Pharcyde’s “She Said (Jay Dee Remix)” for example. This is one of those situations where the remix of the song is arguably better than the original record. After slicing up and pitching down a very short piano loop from a 70’s Latin Jazz record by Gato Barbieri (listen to the original recording and tell me this isn’t impressive) – Dilla turned this jazzy piano progression into an eerie but soulful groove and an underground classic was born. Damn you Dilla for being so good.
The Pharcyde "She Said (Jay Dee Remix)" (Prod By Jay Dee aka J Dilla)
Gato Barbieri "El Arriero" (Sample @ 0:00-0:04)