Maybe it’s us, but we find bits and pieces of J Dilla‘s sonic spirit in virtually all of what we hear, from the dustiest of boom-bap to the farthest reaches of the left-field spectrum. In fact, we find those delicious ear candies in so many places that it becomes difficult to imagine what the world might have sounded like without him. That is to say, how boundless his influence was and how dear his presence is to so many of y(our) favorite musicians and producers (as blurry as that line may be nowadays.) One particular musician straddling that greying line is the ever graceful, ever prolific contemporary jazz giant known as Robert Glasper, who has blessed us with a third installment of his masterful live interpretation of Jay Dee’s compositions AKA “Dillalude” — via OKP Premiere!
Where parts 1 and 2 commenced with messages from Q-Tip and Ma Dukes, the latest finds the track being introduced by Slum Village‘s only living OG in T3, who offers some kind words about RG and the GOAT before Glasper’s lush and perfectly minimal reconstruction begins. From there, we dive right into the type of tender, gently swung sonic specimen you might expect from a jazz pianist who openly admits that Dilla influenced him more than most instrumentalists in his own field; a tall order from one of the world’s most renowned ivory-smashers.
What’s more, Glasper has provided us with a personal account of the very first time he met the legend and entered the lab with him while working on Bilal‘s First Born Second. Below you can read about the humility, poise and sharing-is-caring nature that Dilla exuded when we walked this Earth as the great do-er of our time. Listen as Robert Glasper, Damion Reid and Vicente Archer (the OG trio) raise it up for Jay Dee and provide us with the lovely “Dillalude 3”, an outtake from their forthcoming Live At Capital Records LP, slated for a June release. Stay tuned, as we’ll be bringing you more Dilla reminiscences throughout the day.
“So when I met Dilla, the first thing I asked him was ‘Where’d you get “Still Shining?’” which was a song he did for Busta Rhymes, which is one of my favorite hip-hop beats of all time. Actually, it’s my favorite hip-hop beat of all time. He literally pulled out the record and showed me what he did and how he did it right there. He was a very sharing kinda dude, you know you asked him a question and he’d tell you exactly how he did it.
He wasn’t insecure. I know a lot of producers and beatmakers that tell me “Dilla used to send me beats, he would send me a pile of beats just to have.” He was always sharing, always giving his stuff away. Cats out here are like “yeah, he sat me down, showed me how to use the MP.” I know a lot of stories like that with different cats. And that just shows somebody who has great humility and a cat that’s not insecure. When you’re dope to the core like that, you’re not scared.”