In this episode, we celebrate legendary producer J Dilla, who has worked with The Roots, Common, Erykah Badu, Janet Jackson and A Tribe Called Quest. Then we join musician friends J. Rocc, DJ Spinna, Frank Nitt and Grap Luva in Detroit to open Dilla’s storage locker, never-before-seen to the public.
Crate Diggers profiles people with extraordinary vinyl record collections, with owners displaying and telling the stories behind their collections. Watch them all here:
Native Tongue fans won’t like this news. In a new interview, Ali Shaheed Muhammad of a Tribe Called Quest crushes fans hopes of getting a new album from the seminal Hip-Hop group anytime soon, if at all. “We talk about it. Especially with the documentary, I think it has stirred up the conversations,” Muhammad told Montreality. “Not within the group but just with the fans really wanting to see another record. But we haven’t talked about it, so…no plans.” Clearly some of the internal strife that was revealed in the doc that Muhammad mentions (Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest) has yet to be squashed. Montreality also spoke with Phife recently last year, who at the time echoed his group member’s sentiments. “As far as Tribe, we’re really really far away from doing a joint effort right now. But basically I’d like to do it for the fans sake ’cause that’s really what’s it all about. So keep your fingers crossed, you never know.” Indeed you never want to say never, but ATCQ‘s last album was The Love Movement, was released 15 years ago. Also, November 9, 2013 will mark the 20th anniversary of the released of their classic Midnight Marauders album. The group, was last seen together on stage during last year’s BET Hip Hop Awards, performing in a special tribute to the late Chris Lighty, who used to manage the act. Q-Tip, who is signed to Def Jam via G.O.O.D. Music Records, has plans to drop a new album titled The Last Zulu later this year. As for Muhammad, the Brooklyn native is still putting the finishing touches on his long in the works solo project and in the extensive interview (watch below) also discusses the late J. Dilla, the aforementioned “Baby” Chris Lighty and more.
The folks over at promotions company Rare Form have been putting on its annual Donuts Are Forever fundraiser and tribute in honor of the late J Dilla since 2007. Headlining the seventh special event will be producer Just Blaze on the turntables, joining a growing group of Hip-Hop icons that have appeared as guests.
The jam will take place Sunday, February 17 at SRB Brooklyn. Joining Just Blaze on the wheels will be DJ Tara, DJ Parler, DJ Stylus and Shawn Dub. Hosting the event will be Brooklyn underground MC Fresh Daily.
Already scoring support from past Dilla collaborators such as ?uestlove of The Roots, the company recently announced a new partnership with music site Okayplayer. The press release read:
Okayplayer has supported Donuts Are Forever since its inception in 2007 and Rare Form since we began 2003,” said Kristy Gomez of Rare Form. “Whether promoting our other events, having ?uestlove DJ Donuts 4, or serving as a sounding board for our ideas, Okayplayer has always been a behind-the-scenes supporter. We’re excited to bring them to the forefront as a true collaborator.
Dan Petruzzi, president of Okayplayer, called Donuts Are Forever the “definitive annual J Dilla tribute in NYC” and voiced his team’s support in the venture. Donuts Are Forever was inspired by the life and music of James “J Dilla” Yancey who succumbed to health complications related to a rare blood disease back in 2006. His last produced album, Donuts, was the inspiration behind the name of the event.
To get tickets for Donuts Are Forever 7, follow this link.
Tomorrow (February 7th) would have marked the 39th birthday of one James Yancey, and to celebrate Stüssy has linked up with the J Dilla Estate for a limited-edition run of tees referencing some of the classic albums in Dilla’s discography. Check them out down bottom, and grab yourself a shirt when it drops this Friday (February 8th).
Last year, D’Angelo teased fans with a few notable performances, including a set at Jay-Z‘s ‘Made In America’ festival, but a promised new album was never delivered. Now, ?uestlove reveals that the long awaited, highly anticipated third album from the enigmatic R&B crooner is almost ready, we hope. The Roots’ drummer has been working diligently to get the album delivered to the label in spite of his hectic work schedule. “I’m heading out to Asia right now praying that we’re still on schedule for when we said we were going to turn that record in,” ?uest told Billboard. “All last week, I was in the studio finishing (the album). We spent close to 18 hours, well not me personally because I have to go to ‘Fallon,’ but usually right after work. He’s the only person that I’ll actually go to the studio with and stay there to six in the morning, re-doing these drum parts… Right now, we’re just tightening up the loose ends. But I still stand by, 99% of it is done.”
Right now the plan is turn the record in by February at the latest. ?uest did not hold back on the praise, hailing the project as classic material. “I would not be far off by saying this is probably my generation’s version of Sly (and the Family Stone‘s) ‘There’s a Riot Goin’ On.’,” said ?uest. “It’s potent. It’s funky. It’s an extremely hard pill to swallow. He’s one of those artists that have, of course, taken 13 years to follow up a record. It’s going to take you about 10 years to digest this record. Totally brilliant. Just the way this society works with music… being able to judge if something is a classic after the first listen, you can do that after thirty seconds on this. And the fact that we started this record in 2004, and it still sounds like it came out five years from now, it is a testament to the timelessness of it.” The working title of D’Angelo’s new album is James River, but there is no scheduled release date at the moment. Born Michael Archer, his last album, Voodoo, was released in 2000. When D’Angelo hit the stage with ?uestlove at Bonnaroo last year, it was the Richmond, VA native’s first time performing stateside in a dozen years. In an interview with GQ magazine, D’angelo revealed that it was the death of his friend J Dilla that inspired him to get his act together after years of alcohol and drug abuse.
During last month’s Red Bull Academy event at NYC’s Broiler Room, The Roots drummer hit the 1s and 2s and dedicated an hour of his set to the late Jay Dee. The music speaks for itself.