Top 10 Compilation-Style Albums By Producers
Right now, two of the summer's most anticipated albums feature producers' names in the top-billed spot: Mike Will Made It's Ransom 2 and Clams Casino's 32 Levels. Most of the excitement hinges on the projects' star-studded guestlists (although we can't say a damn thing against Clammy Clams' three prior instrumental compilations), and as far as producer-led albums in hip hop go, that's usually been the case.
J Dilla-Inspired Donut Shop "Dilla's Delights" Opens In Detroit
A J Dilla-inspired donut shop opened Detroit Tuesday morning to great fanfare. Founded by Dilla's uncle Herman Hayes to honor his nephew's legacy, the shop sold out three times on its first day of business. "We wish we would've had enough to last until at least afternoon, but we kept bringing batches in and they kept going just like that!" store manager Glenn Telton told Fox 2 Detroit.
Listen To J Dilla's New Album "The Diary"
This morning, J Dilla's estate released The Diary, the final batch of recordings he had intended to release in his lifetime. (We celebrated with an ill infographic all about Dilla. Check it out.) The album includes features from Nas, Snoop Dogg, Bilal, Nottz, Boogie, and additional production from Madlib, Hi-Tek, Karriem Riggins, Pete Rock, Bink!, and others.
Legend: J Dilla By The Numbers
Today marks the release of J Dilla's new album The Diary. We celebrated by putting together an infographic that examines Dilla's career by the numbers.
Madlib is one of the great hip hop producers of the modern age. His dedication to music, whether it be jazz, soul, R&B, funk, world or hip hop, is second-to-none. If you've ever given one of his mixes a listen, you'll know that he has deep cuts for days. And if you're a big fan of his beats, you know that he is capable of flipping obscure samples into infectious, *very rare* instrumentals.
Classic Rotation: Busta Rhymes' "The Coming"
Like many others who grew up long after the Native Tongues era of NY rap, my first exposure to a young Busta Rhymes came on A Tribe Called Quest’s bombastic single “Scenario.” The Low End Theory closing track featured Rhymes’ group Leaders Of The New School (who along with Tribe, De La Soul, Black Sheep, and Jungle Brothers formed the NT collective) in a cypher-esque sequence of oneupmanship that concluded with one of the greatest verses ever laid to wax.
Classic Rotation: J Dilla's "Donuts"
Depending on how cool your social media feeds are, you probably saw some posts last week celebrating the legacy of the legendary producer J Dilla. February was declared "Dilla Month" by Stones Throw Records to commemorate the loss of James "J Dilla" Yancey, who died of a rare blood disease on February 10, 2006. His death came just days after his birthday as well the release of Donuts, arguably the greatest instrumental hip-hop album ever.
De La Soul, Pro Era & More To Perform At J Dilla Weekend 2016
New Era and Ma Dukes (J Dilla’s mom) have unveiled the full lineup for the upcoming J Dilla Weekend 2016, honoring the late beatmaker and emcee. This is the second J Dilla weekend, after the event in 2015 was deemed a “resounding success” by the organizers. The event will take place in Miami, Florida, at a to be determined venue.
Stream J Dilla's "Dillatronic" Album
J Dilla is one of the most beloved producers of all time, and while we lost him far too soon, he was prolific enough to have left a large collection of music behind. Over the years since his passing, we've gradually seen Dilla's archives given proper release, and today we've been blessed with 41 new instrumentals from the influential beatmaker. Dillatronic is a collection of electronic-leaning beats from Dilla, and was put together by his mother. While the album is due out this Friday, it's available for free stream right now on SoundCloud.
New J Dilla Album "Dillatronic" Announced; To Include 40 Rare Instrumentals
Good news, y'all. A new J Dilla album is on the way. Ma Dukes (his mom) and Vintage Vibez Music Group announced Dillatronic, a series of unreleased electronic-influenced instrumentals from the iconic producer. It will drop on October 30th. “I can smile in my heart, knowing my son’s work is being shared with the people as we planned before he passed,” said Ma Dukes. “I only share the best, and I only hope to continue introducing the world to the genius of J Dilla.”
10 Best Hip-Hop Crews Of All Time
The hip hop crew is an essential part of success. Whether big or small, every rapper has an entourage. Sometimes it's full of rappers, and other times it's just his buddies from back in the day, nonetheless, weak links in a crew can water down the crew as a whole-- something we took into consideration when crafting this list. You have the multimedia approach that Odd Future takes, and also the full-on lyrical assault that Wu-Tang Clan makes. Both are great crews, but who would comprise a list of the best rap crews of all time?
Stream Slum Village's New Album "Yes!"
After touring with Pete Rock all spring, Slum Village are almost ready to drop their new album Yes!. The album is set for commercial release on June 16th, but arrives a bit early today with a stream on their Soundcloud. We got to hear the J Dilla-produced "Right Back" off Yes! the other week, and there's more where that came from on the rest of the album. The project enlists Jon Connor (speaking of which where has this dude been??), Phife, Black Milk, BJ the Chicago Kid, Bilal, Illa J and more.
15 Deaths That Shook Up The Rap Game
Unfortunately, a fair amount of talented hip-hop artists have passed away over the years. There's no easy way around it, but fame and fortune sometimes take the ultimate toll on an individual. We've seen it happen all too often over the years, and just today, we found out about the passing of an underground MC Pumpkinhead.
Classic Rotation: Common's "Be"
There are few artists who can make seriously great hip-hop albums that are captivating and cohesive for the entirety of their duration. However, those who do understand the medium do it really, really well, time and time again.
#TBT: The Pharcyde
The Pharcyde is a Los Angeles hip hop group originally comprised of four members: Imani (Emandu Wilcox), Slimkid3 (Trevant Hardson), Bootie Brown (Romye Robinson), and Fatlip (Derrick Stewart). Today they cary on with just Imani and Bootie Brown. Their first album was produced almost entirely by J-Swift, and the second album was produced almost entirely by J Dilla (under the name Jay Dee). The cohesive production made way for two really incredible hip hop LPs to be created in the early '90s, when the art form was still trying to find its place in American culture.
13 Essential Jay Electronica Tracks
Jay Electronica is a strange cat. The New Orleans-born MC now resides in London, where very few rappers decide to claim home. He's released music sporadically throughout his 11 year career, failing to deliver a long-awaited full-length project despite signing to Roc Nation MGMT and rapping alongside the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Big Sean and Jay Z.
A-Trak, Black Milk & More Remember J Dilla On His Birthday
James Dewitt Yancey, AKA Jay Dee, AKA J Dilla would have turned 41 today. One of the most influential producers of modern hip-hop and soul, he was a musical genius, inspiring artists in all genres of music with his ability to make the most perfect beats.
Dilla Day Coming To Los Angeles
While the Dilla Day celebration was already announced to be taking place in Miami this year as a full weekend,it's now announced to be taking place in Los Angeles as well. The event is scheduled to take place in Miami February 5th through 8th, as well as taking place February 13th in Los Angeles.
Dilla Weekend To Feature Joey Bada$$, Madlib, Pete Rock, And Others
While February 7th is celebrated as "Dilla Day" in Detroit, this year, the celebration will be going down in Miami as "Dilla Day" turns into a weekend event, February 5th through the 8th. Scheduled performers include Joey Bada$$, Madlib, Pete Rock, Talib Kweli, Slum Village, Black Milk, Esta, and Camp Lo with more to be announced.
Samples Of The Week: November 6
When hip-hop began, samples were all that DJs and producers had to construct instrumental tracks with. They'd dig through crates of vinyl trying to find isolated drum breaks, melodies or vocals that they could repurpose for use in hip-hop music. Today, sampling has become less common, but a choice sample can still push a track from lukewarm to hot faster than you can say "uh-huh honey". This week, see who Nas, Wu-Tang Clan and Rockie Fresh sampled on their recent tracks, all of which can be found on HNHH.