Roger Erickson/Stones Throw
Sad news in the world of hip-hop that I first found out at Analog Giant: Producer Jay Dee (aka J-Dilla) died Friday of kidney failure (Detroit Free Press story). He was only 32.
Without even knowing, you probably have heard something by Jay Dee, even if you just listened to a sliver of hip-hop. He was a member of A Tribe Called Quest’s production team the Ummah, and he’s worked with artists like De La Soul, the Roots and Common. Stones Throw lists his extensive resume.
My knowledge of Jay Dee (born James Yancey) is fairly limited. But his name is, quietly, everywhere in my collection, especially on vinyl b-side remixes. Also check Stones Throw’s J-Dilla page for links to praiseworthy reviews of his latest Donuts, released just last week.
For more on Jay Dee, I highly recommend:
- Soul Sides, where Oliver will link to an obit he’s writing for LA Weekly.
- The Broke B-Boys.
- Los Amigos de Durutti, where Matt was working on a post as of Saturday night.
Here’s a few remix cuts culled from my collection.
Jay Dee/J-Dilla: 1974-2006, R.I.P.
De La Soul | Stakes is High (remix by Jay Dee)
From Itzsoweezee 12″ single; De La, Mos Def and Truth Enola on one track.
The Pharcyde | Y? (Be Like That) (Jay Dee remix)
From Drop 12″ single; a great example of Jay Dee keeping the flavor of the original but coloring it with a stuttering bass line and more pronounced backing vocals.
The Pharcyde | Runnin’ (Jay Dee Remix)
From Drop 12″ single; a cooled-out mix of one of my favorite Pharcyde tracks.