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J Dilla: Dillanthology, Volume 1





Before he died from cardiac arrest three years ago, J Dilla was the quietest of hip-hop legends. Though he influenced producers who went on to dominate the game, like Kanye West and Pharell Williams, he never achieved much in the way of mainstream celebrity himself. As part of Slum Village, he helped jumpstart Detroit’s increasingly vital hip-hop movement, and nowadays imitations of his jazz- and soul-influenced throwback beats can be heard all over the radio. Fortunately, he’s experiencing something of a posthumous renaissance, and some of the most popular cuts from his early career are captured nicely on Dillanthology, Volume 1. The disc focuses on neo-soul and backpack rap hits like Erykah Badu’s “Didn’t Cha Know,” Common’s “The Light” and the Pharcyde’s “Runnin’” and “Drop.” While the album contains little that most Dilla fans haven’t already heard, it’s a great jumping-off point for everyone else. 4 stars