What's So Great About J Dilla?

Discussion in 'Overtime: Off-Topic Discussion' started by teacozy, Feb 8, 2011.

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  1. teacozy

    teacozy New Member

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    This isn't a shock thread or something in bad taste to coincide with the dude's birthday, I really want someone to explain to me the hyperbole and calling him the greatest producer ever. Sure, ?uestlove's opinion holds a lot of weight to me, but personally I feel like he's got Donuts, some outstanding stuff for Q-Tip and the Pharcyde, and then the majority of it is really quality in terms of literal production but just okay musically/doesn't stand out the way a Pete Rock or RZA beat would.

    He's a producer's producer, yeah, but is all the acclaim based around his production skills or is there more to it?
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  2. MRsalesman

    MRsalesman Well-Known Member

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    I dont know...I never got it either!
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  3. Drones

    Drones Active Member

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    I'm not sure, I follow your distinction between music and production, but to me, PR, Rza, Dilla and Preem are equal in that regard. Dilla takes the top spot by being more innovative, more versatile and experimental, and ultimately leaving a much bigger mark on music as a whole. Aside from the hundreds of copycat Preemos and PRs, where are their influence really that noticeable today? On the other hand you hear Dilla's swing and his brand of cheesy, cartoonish beatmaking in all kinds of electronic music. If you work with samples, you're probably inspired by Dilla, from Animal Collective to Fly-Lo or any chill-wave artist. It's obviously become a thing to be inspired by Dilla, but still.

    Actually, I think the main difference is that he had more artistic vision, the others are to a larger extent merely skilled craftsmen.
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  4. teacozy

    teacozy New Member

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    My favorite Dilla beat, besides "Find a Way", but I think there's def an auteur argument for the best producers. I made a favorite producers list on Twitter last month and it was pretty long, but the core is basically RZA, Pete Rock, DJ Paul/Juicy J, Pimp C, and Ski Beatz and that's based around consistency and individual style. I kind of disqualify Dre for having too many chefs and his credit being murky beyond drum programming and painstaking craft of actual production (EQ'ing and etc).

    I'm a lot less anti-Dilla bandwagon than when he died and started getting mourned so openly and having write-ups everywhere and Charles Hamilton acting like a goof and everything, but I'm of the mind where I can't cosign him being the best or the greatest, which I've heard from a few people I really respect like ?uestlove and Soul Khan, is because it does seem more like auteurship and style than standout instrumentals.

    The influence is clear, tho. I love Sa-Ra and Flying Lotus who are obvious Dilla influenced and everyone on the West Coast makes beats that sound similar now, but I think I prefer the acolytes to the progenitor.
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  5. JobOne

    JobOne Man of the Hour

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    Honestly, he may be a little over-hyped since passing by people who never really bumped him much like that when he was alive, but as someone who has been a fan of his since Fantastic vol. 2, his influence is further reaching than his production credits show. The guy could have been more famous than he was if he pushed the business end of things but he just would rather let the music speak for itself.

    That's why I feel there was a real push from other artists within the industry to put his name out there when he died because he would have just been another underground producer in most people's eyes but musically he was more influential than that.

    He produced for lots of songs for people like Busta and Eryka Badu at the height of their popularity, was instrumental in helping shape the Neo-soul movement, and not being credited for songs that he should have got some credit for (Janet Jackson-Got 'Til It's Gone, Tupac- Do For Love) but he usually just let that shit slide so it would be almost criminal for him to never at least get the recognition he deserved in life but never really actively sought. Now it seems like some people hold him to a level that he might not have really been at just because he died, but that's what tends to happen often with music. Some people are never truly appreciated until they die, then many people start holding up to impossibly high standards of genius.

    It's like you said, teacozy, he was a producer's producer. His influence before he died was subtle but far reaching but after he died, his later style seems to be much more emulated now and he influence has spread much further than ever before more openly, like people use more of his techniques almost as a tribute and integrate it into their own sound. Pharrell has said multiple times that Dilla was his favorite producer. Kanye pretty much owes his career to the foundation Dilla built. Dilla was obviously influenced a great deal by Pete Rock but his style was even more bass driven. His sound was basically all his own. and yet he could be a total chameleon with style.

    My favorite example of his versatility, perhaps besides Welcome 2 Detroit which was more experimentation, was Champion Sound. The reason I liked that album so much was the way Madlib and he seemed to take the other's style and put their own personal twist on every track.

    After that album, I personally thought that he was maybe biting Madlib's style a little hard. You could say they both kind of developed that style to that point of what they started doing with it and Dilla definitely had his own way of doing it but Madlib was already on that disjointed shit and Dilla's shit was much smoother overall before Jaylib.

    The thing is listening to where he took that style after that album, I couldn't really still say that he was taking too much from Madlib because it was more like a technique than just a style. A lot of the stuff he put out, I just couldn't say sounded like something Madlib would do.

    I think it speaks to his skill in being able to soak up influences and create something new and fresh. He was skilled at developing techniques. I tried to pick out what I thought were the best beats he made and I realized that they rarely were very technical or complex. He did have beats with lots of layering and subtle things added in, but his beats we more about the vibe I guess you would say. Some of my favorite beats of his were just simple, well chosen loops, maybe chopped a certain way, with little else added. It isn't necessarily a bad thing, he understood simplicity and minimalism.

    TL;DR version

    Is he the best? Probably not. He has been one of my favorites forever. Still put him in my top 5 producers of all time.

    Is he overrated? In some ways, yes definitely. As a long time fan, I would have just been happy with him getting the credit he deserved but the way people talk about him now like he's the GOAT is a little strange especially when it only became common after he died. He's always been a great producer but greatest? Eh, I don't know. As a musician maybe he was overrated, but as a technician and a producer with an ear for music, he was easily one of the best. He was innovative, bold, had a strong work ethic, and a real passion for the music beyond any kind of want of fame and recognition.

    His influence is his biggest mark on music I would say, not just the music he put out. So even if you don't see what the big deal with him is, some of the people you listen to think what he did was a big deal. Kind of like Marley Marl as another Hip Hop example. A lot of the beats he made may not seem very impressive to people but his techniques and style influence a great number of the best producers so while the average listener might not care about what Marley has done, his contribution is greater than some of his individual accomplishments.
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  6. Shelltoe

    Shelltoe album full of felony raps

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    welcome to detroit is my shit, tried to be diverse in this post tho. dillas chops are unreal and his drum sequencing is so original. amazing ear.

    [youtube]-B0Oens2HUo[/youtube]
    [youtube]4TEWrZpiuiA[/youtube]
    [youtube]VRzRSCRZweY&feature=related[/youtube]
    [youtube]wQ5jWyGPSOw[/youtube]
    [youtube]vVYza0NiWuU&playnext=1&list=PLB44986F9947D3D0C[/youtube]
    [youtube]wu30N5YCX5M&feature=related[/youtube]
    [youtube]RTLz5fkHsOs&feature=related[/youtube]
    [youtube]rJ7C_Iqv5hU&feature=fvwrel[/youtube]
    [youtube]IXVSZsT97xw[/youtube]
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  7. ghostofmooks

    ghostofmooks 905

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    sometimes I hate most of you. Kool herc in the hospital wasn't enough, now we're disrespting dilla on dude's birthday.....fucking disgraceful & ignorant

    go dissect another video blog twitter battle you fucking tweens
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  8. Red Beam Da Kid

    Red Beam Da Kid Well-Known Member

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    This thread is ultra disrespectful tbh. If you want to know 'whats so great about J-Dilla' go listen to the mans music. Also Mookie's post was on point.
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  9. ghostofmooks

    ghostofmooks 905

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    watch the documentary:

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  10. teacozy

    teacozy New Member

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    There's nothing disrespectful about this thread. Because the dude is dead we can't re-evaluate his legacy? Come back when someone says "Fuck Dilla", or better yet try actually reading posts before getting acting like uppity cornballs.
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  11. ghostofmooks

    ghostofmooks 905

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    I read every word of your schtupid thread
    & insinuating I lack reading comprehension is beyond
    FUNN E
    your disrespect is dripping off every word
    you can insult me if it makes you feel better
    but it changes nothing

    roses for the dead & respect for the pioneers
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  12. teacozy

    teacozy New Member

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    Wouldn't it just be easier to explain why Dilla means so much to you that'd you clown yourself? That's more interesting than acting like this is Pac in '97.
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  13. ghostofmooks

    ghostofmooks 905

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    listen what is all this clown yourself talk?
    expose yourself talk

    You guys are pure Faggots
    the very very very few RM users ive met at kotd events were shook little
    pussy holes or quiet respectful dweebs
    I cant CLOWN MYSELF online....this is a msg board community

    you moderate it so youre automatically a piece of shit
    Now youre gonna go on a vendetta insulting users who dont agree with your retarded views on music

    clown myself? I can get a free trip to every league you watch from home and pay to get into if you do leave your room
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  14. Stock

    Stock New Member

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    this.
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  15. THE CRUNK GHOST

    THE CRUNK GHOST 3PEATERS

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    mookie's a faggot but i still think dilla was dope as fuck

    it's annoying that since he died, 'indie' or 'backpacker' type reviewers have started calling the production on seemingly every hip hop record 'dilla-esque'
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  16. marcus1

    marcus1 New Member

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    bang!
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  17. teacozy

    teacozy New Member

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    for someone who claims to be joking around most of the time you seem to be taking this to heart and venting.

    Still, more interested in your thoughts on whether Dilla is the greatest hip-hop producer.
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  18. Austin Rivers

    Austin Rivers New Member

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    damn dilla on some futuristic alien type beat shit forreal duke nigga
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  19. bobbaforce

    bobbaforce I don't give a nada

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    to everyone who's mad at this:

    dont see it as a guy attacking dilla see it as a chance to make a new dilla fan/educate him on the man

    idk if he is the best but i have a lot of respect for him. i dont think this thread is disrespectful though
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  20. Shup Denzel

    Shup Denzel dhalsim is a hoe nigga

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    JOBone hit the nail on the head. Dilla was an incredible producer who let the music speak before he did. He may not have done all the super technical stuff that a lot of producers do nowadays but in simplicity he could reach your heart...he saw a sample for more than just something to massacre, he saw it as something to move you. I think what has been weaning on his legacy are the cock jockeys who act like no producer exists besides Dilla, to the point of hating on producers who influenced him.

    Example, I was at a Pete Rock & CL Smooth reunion show in SF late last year, Phife was hosting & he was shouting out legendary producers, basically showing the influence Pete Rock has had. Someone in the audience shouted out Dilla, and Phife went on to say that Dilla was influenced by Pete, and that was someone he looked up to. He said "All Dilla wanted to do was be Pete Rock", he didn't say it in a disrespectful way, he said it in a way to big Pete up, like "so many say Dilla is great, well here is one of his influences, live!" but the next day on twitter I saw all these messages from niggas hating on Phife for saying that, basically taking what he said as disrespect. Now, that came from SOMEONE WHO KNEW AND WORKED WITH DILLA PERSONALLY, so who were they to speak on Phife?

    85% of the cats who jock Dilla like that didn't even listen to him when he was living, and while I've never been one to hate on someone becoming familiar with an artists' music after they have passed, they've REALLY taken it overboard.
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