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Dillanthology, Vol. 3

J Dilla

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Album Review

If any of the three Dillanthology discs seemed particularly early upon arrival, it was the third volume — the one focused on Dilla's own releases. Over half of its material comes from releases that were, at the time, no older than three-and-a-half years. In fact, two tracks — "Glamour Sho75 (09)" and "Reality Check," off Jay Stay Paid — were barely four months old. Plenty of other questions could be lobbed at the set: why couldn't "F**k the Police," a rugged single released in 2001, be licensed for this? Why break up Donuts, a beat-suite masterpiece that should be heard in whole? There's no denying, however, that Dillanthology is effective — more like a sampler, really — at showcasing the late producer/MC's range. For "Pause," one of three tracks from 2001's Welcome 2 Detroit, Dilla needed little more than a simple kick-drum pattern, fingersnaps, and light atmospheric effects. "Nothin' Like This" is psychedelic hard rock, oddly phased and shifted, made all the more swirling with Dilla's voice echoed heavily to the point of sounding disembodied. Then there's the liquid soul of "Won't Do," where Dilla flips the Isley Brothers — an obvious sample source made to sound novel — and dishes out some vocal-hook hypnosis of his own.

Biography

Born: February 7, 1974 in Detroit, MI

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Frequently and rightly placed in the same context as DJ Premier, Pete Rock, and Kanye West, J Dilla (aka Jay Dee) built and sustained a high standing as a producer's producer while maintaining a low profile. When Pharrell Williams appeared on BET's 106 & Park in 2004, he excitedly declared that Dilla was his favorite producer and told an audibly stumped crowd that it had probably never heard of the man. At the time, Dilla had been active for well over a decade and had netted enough beats —...
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Dillanthology, Vol. 3, J Dilla
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