5 songs you didn't know Dilla produced

Dilla

It’s Dilla month. We celebrate the life of one of the best producers we have ever been blessed to hear. Dilla was an extremely prolific producer. Much of his greatest work is with his group Slum Village, A Tribe Called Quest, The Pharcyde, Common and of course on his own project “Welcome to Detroit.

Dilla had beat tapes circulate the world once people discovered his genius. As a result, a lot of his work may be uncredited or has traveled under the radar and out of the scope of the mainstream. One thing for sure is you can’t mistake that J Dilla bump. It’s a groove. It’s a vibe.

Lets take a moment and listen to 5 songs Dilla produced that you may not have been aware of.

  1. Janet Jackson “Got Till it’s Gone”

When I first heard this song I’m not sure I was fully aware who Dilla was yet. But according to stories I have heard about this production Q Tip who was working with Dilla and basically presented him to all of his friends shared this track with Janet Jackson and she was instantly hooked. Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis took credit for this production, but the word got out as to who did the work. This may be one of the first introductions of Dilla’s prowess to the mainstream culture.

2. The Brand New Heavies “Sometimes (Ummah Remix)

The Brand New Heavies were a force to be reckoned with during the Neo-Soul movement. They were driven by live instrumentation and an R&B vibe. This specific song mentions that this song was remixed by The Ummah. The Ummah was a production collective that consisted of Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Raphael Sasdiq, Q Tip and J Dilla. By this point the cat was out of the bag and Dilla was known more in the industry. So even though this is an Ummah remix you can still hear Dilla’s bump all over this.

3. Black Star “Little Brother”

As an avid fan of the legendary rap group Black Star I thought I knew a lot about them. Yasiin Bey aka Mos Def and Talib Kweli are two of my favorite emcees. I had a pretty good idea of the production they used. Imagine my surprise when I found out that “Little Brother” a single used for “The Hurricane” soundtrack featuring Denzel Washington was produced by Dilla. Whats even more amazing is to hear the way this song was produced. It is awe inspiring and speaks directly to Dilla’s genius. Google “Questlove on J Dilla’s sampling techniques ” to hear that story.

4. D’Angelo “Feel Like Makin’ Love

“Voodo” by D’Angelo is arguably his greatest work. The recording of that album took place at the legendary Electric Lady Studio’s where legendary projects by Common, Erykah Badu and The Roots were recorded. This song was recorded because Lauryn “Miss Hill” Hill missed a session. Dilla is ALL over this one.

5. A Tribe Called Quest “Find My Way”

This song comes from a Tribe album that wasn’t well received initially but has since grown to be a classic. The Love Movement had a different sound. It was jazzy but still hip-hop. Its had class and bottom. All of these a Dilla traits. The Ummah is credited for production on this but as always Dilla’s influence is evident and seeps into your soul.

6.Tupac “Do For Love” . BONUS!!!

I know I said 5 but this one had to mentioned because it features two of Hip-Hop’s greatest. This is one I just realized thanks to a post by Andrew Barber on twitter. Tupac and Dilla on a track together is truly heaven!

For context on this Tupac joint.

I’m sure I missed a few. What are some of your favorite Dilla productions. Share in the comments.

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On tour, Chrisette Michele faces music about failed marriage, singing for Trump

Chrisette Michele at ‘Conversations with Chrisette’ at Theatre 47 in Park Forest IL. (Photo credit: Eddy “Precise” Lamarre)

On Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, LSB Media presented Conversations with Chrisette Michele. The Grammy-winning singer, who is in the middle of a national speaking tour, visited Theatre 47 in the south suburban village of Park Forest, Illinois, as part of a national speaking tour to share a few thoughts and answer some questions.

The show was hosted by A.C. Green and featured several amazing performers, including Keya Tramell, Makeda Grier and Pia Renee, who filled the room with their spirited vocals. 

The moderator for the evening was Cherish Brown, and she dove right into the questions for Michele, first asking how she feels about being single again.

“Great,” Michele replied. “When you break away from something that doesn’t serve you, then it’s a wonderful thing. The marriage was the hard part. Getting out was easy.”

When asked why she performed at President Donald Trump’s inaugural ball, her explanation was a bit more layered.

“When you get a No. 1 on the entire Billboard charts, you think, man, if I say something, somebody might hear me. That becomes an idea for reality. And it became an idea for reality when I felt the country was hurting.”

Her explanation shed some light on her decision. Given that she was one of the early victims of cancel culture, it was inspiring to see her bounce back even more empowered. 

Michele noted that she embarked on the speaking tour after her mother suggested that she get out and touch the public and share her experiences. As a result, she has been touring schools across the United States. 

After the question-and-answer exchange, Michele took to the stage to perform a few stripped-down songs. Her voice remains pristine and powerful. She mentioned she would be back in Chicago for a show at the City Winery.

Take a look at a few pictures in the gallery below. 

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Dilla treasures found in storage unit

J Dilla

Happy birthday to James “J Dilla” Yancy. Today the announcement of Jay Electronica finally releasing his album in 40 days feels like a present from the legendary producer. Dilla would have been 46 years-old today. He left an indelible mark on the world with his style of production. The soul of his creations permeates the mind and allows the listener to travel with him on a journey.

A few years ago while listening to Snap Judgement on NPR I came across this amazing story. It speaks to how Dilla has managed to continue to touch lives and keep his legacy alive through his music. Imagine coming across a J Dilla beat tape out of the blue. Check out the story below.

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Jay Electronica says album is coming. Do you believe it?

Jay Electronica

Jay Electronica is probably the most enigmatic and mysterious rappers on the hip-hop landscape. Jay released Act 1: Eternal Sunshine in 2008 a project inspired by the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. This ambitious release generated a buzz that would follow Jay from New Orleans to all over the world.

In 2009 in the early days of mp3’s Jay drooped the Just Blaze produced “Exhibit A” and followed it up with “Exhibit C”. Both of the songs were touted as singles for an album that would soon come. It never came.

Lyrically Jay Electronica is a rappers rapper. His mastery of the language and the way he paints pictures leaves people awe inspired. So to hear that his album is officially coming in 40 days and it has a feature from Jay Z is something to look forward to.

He announced the release via a series of tweets.

I approach this with a cautious optimism. He has done this before.

His fans have been waiting for this album since he signed with Roc Nation in November of 2010. Ten years is a long time to wait for a debut. I’m expecting greatness from this one.

Are you excited about Jay Electronica finally releasing his project? Do you belive it’s coming? Share in the comments.

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Erykah Badu is selling p***y; not in the way you think

Erykah Badu

Erykah Badu has never been one to be boring. The 48 year-old song writer, singer, performer, visual artist and doula can now add something else to her resume. She will be an incense maker.

According to an interview she did with the British publication 10 Magazine this incense will be made with cut up pieces of her underwear. The product will be known as “Badu Pussy”. She will sell it on her new online store called Badu World Market.

There has always been a mystique surrounding Badu and her “feminine wiles”. There has been a distinct change in character with regards to the men who have been in her life. See Andre 3000, Common and Jay Electronica. There is a very definite “before Badu” and “after Badu” phase.

“There’s an urban legend that my pussy changes men,” she said. “The men that I fall in love with, and fall in love with me, change jobs and lives.”

If you are curious about how the creative process behind this will happen “I took lots of pairs of my panties, cut them up into little pieces and burned them,” she shared. “Even the ash is part of it.” said Badu

I wonder if lighting this incense in closed quarters will hypnotize. We will see. –

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Billie Eilish says rap music is full of lies

Billie Eilish has an opinion on rap. The Grammy award winner who recently made the cover of VOGUE found herself being quite vocal about rap and what rappers are saying. Eilish is known for her song writing that she characterized as works of fiction.

Her inspirations are many and she draws some of that from rap. When making the distinction between what’s real in her music and what’s real in rap she had this to say to VOGUE “Just because the story isn’t real doesn’t mean it can’t be important,” she said. “There’s a difference between lying in a song and writing a story. There are tons of songs where people are just lying. There’s a lot of that in rap right now, from people that I know who rap. It’s like, ‘I got my AK-47, and I’m fuckin’,’ and I’m like, what? You don’t have a gun. ‘And all my bitches…’ I’m like, which bitches? That’s posturing, and that’s not what I’m doing.” she stated

Many rappers have expressed this same sentiment. However; reading what Eilish is saying looks like she is justifying her work of fiction against a rappers work of fiction.

I would be the first to say that rap has a lot of growing to do and subject matter needs to level up. Just don’t use rap as your scapegoat. I’ll chalk that up as Eilish being young.

She makes good music and I’m sure she’ll be doing more rap collaborations in the future.

Is Billie Eilish right? What do you think? Share in the comments.

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Megan Thee Stallion and G-Eazy are all about the swirl

Meehan Thee Stallion (Photo source: instagram @theestallion)

Megan Thee Stallion and G-Eazy just added a little spice to Black History Month.

A video is circulating on Twitter showing the two artists hugged up intimately. G-Eazy is sucking Megan’s face, then the camera pans to reveal Megan’s leg wrapped around him.

Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean anything, but Black Twitter is interpreting the moment as a relationship and they are not feeling it.

The tone of this backlash seems to have a lot to do with the interracial makeup of this alleged couple.

In recent memory, Megan has been romantically linked with Trey Songz and Moneybagg Yo, the latter of whom is rumored to be dating G-Herbo’s ex-girlfriend, Ari Fletcher. Megan’s decision to move on was inevitable, but the way she did it shook up the internet — a stark contrast to the way she shook up cyberspace with “Hot Girl Summer.”

Interracial relationships are not new to the music industry. Kanye West and Kim Kardashian and John Legend and Chrissy Teigen are two outwardly happy couples that are thriving. Can Megan Thee Stallion follow that trend without ticking off all of Black Twitter? Well, that remains to be seen.

What’s certain is that Megan and G-Eazy’s alleged relationship is not revolutionary. We will have to stay tuned to see how this plays out.

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Kelis says Pharell and The Neptunes stole her publishing

Kelis – (Photo source instagram @kelis)

Kelis is pulling no punches as she readies a tour for the 20 year anniversary of her album Kaleidoscope. In an interview with The Guardian she shares how she didn’t get paid for her first 2 projects that were exclusively produced by the producing duo. The publishing deal did not work in her favor. “I was told we were going to split the whole thing 33/33/33 which we didn’t do” she continued “Their argument is “Well you signed it” I’m like: “Yeah I signed what I was told, and I was too young and too stupid to double-check it” Kelis story is one that is quite prevalent in the music industry.

When asked why she isn’t angry about the situation Kelis states “To be honest with you, I think if it were not for my faith, I feel like that would probably be the case. It’s very clear to me, especially being on a farm, that whatever you put into the ground that is what’s going to come back to you. 

Kelis life in the industry has been extremely public. Her ex-husband is the legendary rapper Nas. They were married from 2005 to 2009. She has one child with him. In 2018 Kelis made claims of Nas abusing her mentally and physically. Nas has since denied all of those claims on an Instagram post. Kelis addresses why she is so outspoken in more detail during The Guardian interview “Well I’m a very private person and whether it’s the stuff with the Neptunes and being assaulted in the home, I fought so hard to have my own voice, even with the umbrella of these men looming over what I was trying to do. I’m not broken. But I don’t feel like protecting the sanctity of the Black man anymore.” she said

Kelis will be starting The Kaleidoscope tour on March 3, 2020 in Europe.

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Mase calls Diddy out because of his shady business

Mase at V 103 Block Party in Chicago 2019 (Photo credit: Eddy “Precise” Lamarre)

Mase will always and forever be associated with Bad Boy Records. Sean Combs aka “P Diddy” aka “Puffy,” created a cultural swell of unforgettable music and moments during the 90s that rolled over into the millennium. The tragic death of Biggie represented a major loss to the culture of hip-hop, rap music and Bad Boy as a label. Mase came on the scene and provided a much-needed jolt to the label. He resurrected Bad Boy during the shiny suit era. 

Everything seemed to be working out for Bad Boy until contract disputes were made public by The Lox and Mase. In Nov. 2005, The Lox orchestrated a “Free The Lox” campaign. They aired Diddy out on Hot 97 while guests of the Angie Martinez’s show. Mase did something similar when he pulled up on Diddy at Atlanta’s V103 radio station so that he would release him from his contract. 

It seems evident that Diddy’s business dealings have not always been in favor of his artists. Earlier this year at Clive Davis’ 2020 pre-Grammy party, Diddy was honored with the Icon award. He gave an impassioned speech about being for the artists and putting The Academy “on the clock” with regards to being fair with Black artists. Mase witnessed this speech and took to Instagram to call Diddy out on his hypocrisy. 

Mase posted a picture of Meek Mill asking why all of the Black artists are in racist contracts with “different race men”  on his Instagram, then took it a step further. Read the post below.

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@diddy I heard your #Grammy speech about how u are now for the artist and about how the artist must take back control. So I will be the first to take that initiative. Also, before we ask of other ethnicities to do us right we should do us as black people better. Especially the creators. I heard u loud and clear when u said that u are now for the artist and to that my response is if u want to see change you can make a change today by starting with yourself. Your past business practices knowingly has continued purposely starved your artist and been extremely unfair to the very same artist that helped u obtain that Icon Award on the iconic Badboy label. For example, u still got my publishing from 24 years ago in which u gave me $20k. Which makes me never want to work w/ u as any artist wouldn’t after u know someone is robbing you & tarnishing your name when u don’t want to comply w/ his horrendous business model. However, people would always ask what’s up w/ Mase? So I would be forced to still perform to not look crazy when I was getting peanuts and the robbery would continue. So many great moments and people lives in music were lost. But again, I rode with u in the face of death without flinching & u still wouldn’t do right. I never said anything because I wanted to wait until I was financially great so I can ensured that I was addressing this from a pure place and not out of spite. To add insult, u keep screaming black excellence and love but I know love isn’t free. So I offered u 2m in cash just a few days ago to sell me back my publishing(as his biggest artist alive) that always show u respect for u giving me an opportunity at 19 yrs old. Your response was if I can match what the EUROPEAN GUY OFFER him that would be the only way I can get it back. Or else I can wait until I’m 50 years old and it will revert back to me from when I was 19 years old. You bought it for about 20k & I offered you 2m in cash. This is not black excellence at all. When our own race is enslaving us. If it’s about us owning, it can’t be about us owning each other. No More Hiding Behind “Love”. U CHANGED? GIVE THE ARTIST BACK THEIR $$$. So they can take care of their families

A post shared by MA$E (@rsvpmase) on

Mase has an axe to grind and in this social media age, the entire world will know.

“Your past business practices knowingly has continued purposely starved your artist and been extremely unfair to the very same artist that helped u to obtain that Icon Award on the iconic Bad Boy label. For example, u still got my publishing from 24 years ago in which you gave me $20k.” he posted.

He continued stating that he offered Diddy two million dollars for his publishing, but it was declined.

Let’s see how this new Sean “P Diddy” Combs, the new icon, responds to this.

Do you think Diddy is fair? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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