Thirty-eight years ago today, a man was born who would innovate and create some of the most respected and admired beats known to man. The untimely passing of James Dewitt Yancey, otherwise know as “J Dilla,” 6 years ago not only shocked me because of his young age (32), I was saddened because I knew a major void was going to be left within the world of authentic hip-hop.
His uncanny ability to turn a hot soulful track into a reengineered beast filled with melodic beats and funky syncopations was unmatched only by the greats who walked before him. J Dilla’s countless contributions to hip-hop’s elite (Common, The Roots, De La Soul) made him a living legend.
Let’s continue to celebrate his life and love with a “sampling” (pun intended) of his sounds.