#BeatsOfAllDILLA: 28 Days of James “Jay Dee” Yancey


DAY 28: The J Dilla x Brasil Connection

The DILLA x BRASIL Connection

Today is the last day of our month long series #BeatsofAllDilla.  We are about to go full circle…As we transition out of J Dilla Month and into our next venture, Brazilian Carnaval, which begins today and ends with our 4th Annual Brazilian Carnaval in Pomona at Re:Fresh, we leave you with “Obrigado Dilla,” which translates from Brazilian Portuguese to “Thank You Dilla.”

“Obrigado Dilla” was produced and documented by our friends at Mochilla following the Brasilintime premiere show at SESC Pompeii in São Paulo, 2006.  It features Brazil’s championed DJs Nuts and Primo (RIP) on the cuts and punching buttons on the SP-303 while drummer Pupillo keeps the time on the beat.  Together the three did a tribute featuring Dilla’s Brazilian influenced production for the Pharcyde, “Runnin.”  Again shout out to B+ and Coleman of Mochilla who captured some of the most iconic photos of Dilla in existence, including several we used throughout the month.

Here’s a fun note, we had an opportunity to host B+, Eric Coleman and DJ Nuts on several occasions at an event in Downtown Upland, CA called The Lapa Lounge.  On one of those nights in 2007, the Mochilla crew blessed us with the first public viewing of “Obrigado Dilla” with our small and intimate crowd.

Here is the original sample, Stan Getz “Saudade Vem Correndo” which translates to the theme and title of the Pharcyde track. Coincidence?

Bonus Nuggets:

Jay Dee Samples Brazilian guitarist Baden Powell:

and here’s an unreleased track where he samples Sergio Mendes drums and another record covering the Bossa Nova standard “Agua de Beber.”

The Dilla x Brazil connection goes even deeper, when asked about the short, prolific “Rico Suave Bossa Nova” track on Welcome 2 Detroit, he said  “I fell in love with Brazilian music the day I listened to a Sergio Mendes album.  We used to have jam sessions in the studio after work was done, one day my mans Karriem Riggins came through.  I asked him for ‘bossa nova.’  He gave me exactly what I needed.”

We bet Dilla would’ve bugged out if he heard his bossa nova groove covered by the legendary Azymuth!

and that’s what we call going full circle on the J Dilla x Brasil connection.

-Mike Styles

Be Sure to follow us for updates in on our #28daysofDILLA and #beatsofallDILLA series!



-Beats of All-Nations

This is a month long tribute, be sure to check past videos we’ve posted below!

DAY 27


One year after Bling 47 Breaks ended, Dirt Tech Reck picks the ball up with Dirt Teck Reck Breaks Takeover.  In four videos, one released every Monday of Dilla Month, Wajeed aka Jeedo, Phat Kat aka Ronnie Euro and Houseshoes come together to give stories of specific J Dilla productions with the sample source to go with it.

This was a website exclusive for Dirt Teck Reck check each short here:

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

Dig deeper and get lost down the rabbit hole of the original Bling 47 Breaks, Dilla Edition Series including the likes of J. Rocc, DJ Spinna, Black Milk, Rich Medina and so many more!

Be Sure to follow us for updates in on our #28daysofDILLA and #beatsofallDILLA series!



-Beats of All-Nations

This is a month long tribute, be sure to check past videos we’ve posted below!

DAY 26

Of course the legend of a man of mythical status would continue posthumous, and this tale is about Dilla’s record collection. Like buried treasure, we all knew it was out there, somewhere. And instead of a treasure chest the gold was housed in a storage locker. Where that locker was was the mystery which would later be uncovered in those now infamous storage locker auctions. During Dilla’s final days the locker was forgotten about and the bill unpaid as the family had much larger issues to deal with. Today’s video features the story of how UHF Records owner, Jeff Bubeck, purchased the locker, encountered threats from fans and record labels who wanted a piece of the collection, and how Ma Dukes was reunited with her son’s records. Be sure to check out the SoundCloud interview below the video as it is a great follow up to the initial interview and also includes words from Ma Dukes herself.

DAY 25

Today’s post comes as the sun comes down, not because its late, but because it is on time.  J Dilla met Erykah Badu by way of Common and the Soulquarians.  He produced several tracks for her and others she was featured on.  The most standout collaboration between the two is the passionate soul driven, “Didn’t Cha Know” from the album Mama’s Gun.  I had a chance to see Badu live in Oakland for NYE 2013.  It was a grand celebration and when she ended the show with “Didn’t Cha Know” it certainly felt as if the crowd, the people, marched into a new era.  That’s how powerful Dilla’s music is.

We found a cool little 2-part compilation of the magical music J Dilla and Badu made together, and to intro it here is Erykah to say a few words about the man.

DAY 24

Today we are featuring a 3-part documentary produced by Stones Throw and Stussy. The doc covers Jay Dee’s later years in Los Angeles and includes interviews with Peanut Butter Wolf, Rhettmatic, Jrocc, Egon, B+ (Mochilla), Mayer Hawthorne, House Shoes, Garth Trinidad (KCRW), Dave Cooley (Dilla’s sound engineer) & Frank Nitty. Heavy line up right? This series is probably the most insightful coverage of Dilla’s time post-Detroit, a must watch for any Dilla fan, enjoy!

Be Sure to follow us for updates in on our #28daysofDILLA and #beatsofallDILLA series!



-Beats of All-Nations

This is a month long tribute, be sure to check past videos we’ve posted below!

DAY 23

If there is one thing about Dilla’s story and his connection with Detroit that is commonly unknown it would have to be St. Andrews Hall. Its a music venue where legends have performed at as well as a countless number of local musicians, and was almost like a rite of passage with you wanted to make it. From techno acts, to comedians, to Bob Dylan, to the Athletic Mic League, they’ve all played there. Detroit’s hip hop ambassador to the world, House Shoes, even had a DJ residency there. Today’s featured video is rare early footage of Slum Village rocking alongside with Phat Kat in 1996 at the famed music institution.

DAY 22

The Stones Throw crew flies from LA to Detroit for “this big historical meeting” with J Dilla,to discuss production for the unreleased, mythical ‘MCA album.’  Peanut Butter Wolf and DJ Houseshoes tell the story of Jay and Madlib‘s first interaction in the studio.  Welcome to the D baby!


We’re putting #beatsofallDILLA in perspective tonight with this very special event in downtown Pomona at Re:Fresh with friend and collaborator of JDilla’s, Ta’Raach.  We’d love to see ya’ll out, if you’ve been following us all month come say heeeeey…Welcome to the P baby!

DAY 21

It was only a matter of time before emcees started recording over Donuts tracks. Some were meant to be, others were meant to be thrown straight into the garbage can. Today’s featured video is the story of the track One For Ghost. Dave NY recalls the day he, Dilla and Ma Dukes first heard Ghostface Killah’s rendition of the song and the day he was able to confirm to Ghost that Dilla heard his track while he was still alive. File this one under: #meanttobe #dothemath

DAY 20

Today’s video features Frank Nitty telling “Dilla Stories,” to DJ Rhettmatic and Dave New York as an amused J Dilla confirms and adds to the conversation.  One story in specific here is about another beat Busta Rhymes purchased from Jay Dee,  The Coming.  This particular track was to feature both the Notorious B.I.G and Nas.  However after B.I.G. murdered the verse aiming right at 2pac, Busta had a change of heart and shelved the track even refusing offers from Puffy.

As the story goes…

Though it is probably best the song wasn’t released during the heightened tension of an East/West Coast Beef, we are certainly happy that it did eventually surface.  Though, we could only imagine the resonance this track would’ve carried with a hot sixteen from Nas.  Here is “The Ugliest”:

DAY 19

“You Better Stop! and think about what you’re doing…”  Today we are featuring what is often referred to as James “Jay Dee/J Dilla” Yancey‘s, magnum opus, yes that is Donuts (Stones Throw).  Released just day’s before his death is

the most comprehensive J Dilla beat album ever put out.  There is a lot of amazing tidbits about this album, stories of him making some of these beats from a hospital bed, and even coding subliminal language of his demise in the album.  All that aside we think it is the best instrumental album ever put out.  You can listen to it in its entirety here but we suggest you own this in one format or another.

About the photo:  Inspired by both Dilla and Donuts, Porchlite took this photo with the song ‘Stop!’ in mind, the portrait of J. Dilla was a memento given to attendees at his funeral in Los Angeles.

Without Further ado, DONUTS!

DAY 18

Today we feature a radio interview with Busta Rhymes discussing his early days of working with Dilla and his observation of Dilla’s being. What stood out to us — and what always seems to stand out to us when we hear this in general — is Busta’s thoughts on Dilla’s demeanor. He says Dilla was always calm and reserved and not really into the industry hoopla, he just wanted to work on creating music. If you’ve ever been around these calm and reserved types you get the sense that they might know something that you don’t, as if they’re a little more connected to their world than you are to yours. Its not always very apparent, but in Dilla’s case it is crystal clear that he was in his own stratosphere.

And here is Busta’s most memorable collaboration with the Greatest Of All Time. Still Shining from The Coming album.

DAY 17

Today’s featured video serves a couple of purposes. First we learn about Dilla’s experience with law enforcement, particularly about how Detroit’s finest couldn’t fathom a young black man earning real money in a legal way without having to work a 9-5. In typical fashion they raid his house on suspicion that he was dealing drugs. Yeah, fuck’em. Second, we watch Dilla and Madlib perform Fuck The Police at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. Let’s rewind that last sentence, rappers performing a track called Fuck The Police at a jazz festival. That’s the type of juxtaposition that makes us smile ear to ear. That’s also what we call Getting Open. Enjoy!

Note: Please reference our post from Day 15 for our extensive coverage on Jaylib and for downloadable goodies!

DAY 16

Today’s Video is a tribute titled “J Dilla The Greatest” from former Jay Dee collaborator and friend, drummer, Karriem Riggins. Here he plays an interpretation of “Featuring Phat Kat” originally released on Dilla’s solo effort for BBE, Welcome to Detroit.

Karriem Riggins – J Dilla The Greatest from Yours Truly on Vimeo.

Here is the original recording:

and here is a bonus: While we’re on topic of Welcome to Detroit here is an interview Jay Dee did on Worldwide with Gilles Peterson in 2001, its a nice commentary between Dilla’s songs on the making of Welcome to Detroit, past recordings and even some sample sources. This is a really fun listen:

DAY 15

Today we’re dropping all kinds of NUGGETS, since it is already Saturday afternoon.   I remember the first time I caught wind of the Jaylib project, I was so excited of the thought, being such a fan of both artists and at a time where I had been new to DJing I was fortunate to get my hands on the first song put out by Stones Throw on a very hard to get White Label in ’02.  Apparently at that time Jay Dee didn’t even know the record existed, where Madlib was rhyming on one of Jay’s un-commisioned beats.  In fact Madlib had already made an entire album rapping over J Dilla’s unpublished beats, that was eventually leaked.  To all of our luck, any dispute was settled, and the two rapper/producers planned an entire album together.  The end result, Champion Sound.
This is a live performance of Jaylib, Jay Dee and Madlib, with J. Rocc behind the decks 2004 at The (old) Conga Room in Los Angeles.

DOWNLOAD JAYLIB VS. JROCC HERE! via Stones Throw.  An album promo showcasing their prior works and album cuts as best played by the Funky President J. Rocc (Beat Junkies). There is also a seven inch version of this mix if you were luck enough to get your hands on one…

One more for you, here is a recent Madlib interview where the Loop Digger talks about his life in music, including a section about working with J Dilla where he compares Jay Dee to John Coltrane.  DIG!

HONORABLE MENTION:  All of the late, great, photos of Dilla that surrounded the release of the Jaylib project, including the one on top of this post and several others we have used in this tribute series and possibly more we will share come from B+ and Eric Coleman of Mochilla. who captured some great moments.  These are some of the most used and shared Dilla photos around this time of year, so naturally we would love to big those guys up!

-Mike Styles

DAY 14

Happy Valentine’s Day! On occasion we were blessed with singing vocals from JDILLA, but none come to mind quite like this. ‘Nothing Like This’ is a song for lovers and the video captures that feeling exactly. Originally recorded for Ruff Draft, Stones Throw and Adult Swim put it on their Chrome Children compilation and the rest was history.

DAY 13

Today’s video is another multi-parter that we strung together to give you an in-depth view of the complexity of J Dilla‘s technique.  Specifically on a track that Mos Def and Talib Kweli rhymed over.  Watch as Blackstar performs a rendition of ‘Little Brother’ with The Roots, over a decade later, then check how close friend and collaborator, Ahmir ‘?uestlove’ Thompson, breaks it down!

DAY 12

Today we have what probably is the most in-depth interview the world has seen from J Dilla. The interview took place in 2003 in Eindhoven, Netherlands and covers everything from misdirected production credits, the growing pains of Slum Village, the fruition of the Jaylib project, the Dillalade, to the day when the Soulquarians find out what they all have in common.

So here you go, get into the mind of the greatest to ever do it:




-Beats of All-Nations

This is a month long tribute, be sure to check past videos we’ve posted below!

DAY 11

Today we have a special feature article on “The Legacy of J Dilla” written by our good friend Michael Blair via Next Impulse Sports. Michael sat down with Ma Dukes for an hour long conversation about her genius son, the Yancey family’s musical roots, dealing with Lupus and Dilla’s impact on music. A must read for any true Dilla fans!

Read it here: The Legacy of J Dilla: An Interview With Ma Dukes About Her Son’s Eternal Imprint On The Culture Of Hip- Hop

Stay connected on Twitter

Michael Blair: twitter.com/senseiscommon

Next Impulse Sports: twitter.com/NextImpulse

DAY 10 part 2

Still Shining is a mini-doc by B. Kyle on the day of Dilla‘s Funeral.    Those closest to Dilla discuss the legacy he has left us with.  Goodnight y’all.

“J.Dilla: Still Shining” from B.Kyle on Vimeo.

DAY 10 part1

James “J Dilla” Yancey February 7, 1974 – February 10, 2006

Today’s video features The Roots playing live renditions of Dilla Joints.

Thank You Jay Dee


This one is bitter sweet, J Dilla’s last live performance. It’s a wonder where he found the strength to make this happen so late into his illness, but then again its Jay Dee, the super human MPC wizard. This is also the show where a fan wore his now famous “J Dilla Changed My Life” shirt.


It’s Saturday!  We’d like to thank everyone who has shown love to our daily Dilla tributes in its first week of this month.  We have had a great time indulging ourselves with Dilla in order to put up unique posts everyday.  We do this to help keep the legacy alive and to show our appreciation like everyone else, but in doing it we are reminded how important of a figure Jay Dee was to this MUSIC shit.

Here is live, rare footage of Slum Village rocking some of the favorite Fantastic Vol. 2 joints at this show, the dj, producer and emcee Jay Dee is putting in work here.

“If they say what you goin’ do today, just say
Hey I want to get paid…”

DAY 7 part 2

One more birthday shout out and to show OUR appreciation…Thank You Jay Dee.  Here’s another one arranged by Miguel Atwood-Ferguson for Timeless at CSULA, playing an interpretation of Slum Village‘s “Untitled/Fantastic.” Shout out Mochilla and Artdontsleep.

Day7 part 1

Happy Birthday to you James Yancey!

You have been instrumental in shaping our minds and taste in music since day one and we thank you for that. “I don’t smoke weed, I ain’t use to mess with the streets, I ain’t from the D, No I wasn’t blessed with the beats.” – RAISE IT UP!

Jay Dee, J Dilla, Dilla Dawg, Pay Jay Forever!


Today we’re featuring the first of a six part interview series that Stones Throw put together for the re-release of J Dilla‘s Ruff Draft Ep.  Dave New York talks about Dilla’s move to Los Angeles and Ma Dukes relives Dilla asking his Maker for more time to give his gift to the world.

This one is deep.


Today we’re taking it back to 2004 (and even ’83) as Common rocks a live version of ‘Thelonius’ side by side with Jay Dee at the old Conga Room on Wilshire in Los Angeles.  B-boys and B-girls “Still doin’ this shit like dude in Wildstyle


There isn’t much to say about today’s featured video, Climax (Girl Shit), other than that it’s a certified hip hop classic, and that Questlove has a cameo, and that Baatin’s older sister is singing on the hook, and oh yeah “If you got the goods then I want some.”



Today’s featured video is by the extremely talented BinkBeats. Hailing from The Netherlands, BinkBeats pays tribute to J Dilla with an incredible live 7-minute one-man band routine. So sit back, relax and enjoy the video below as BinkBeats masterfully navigates through a slew of J Dilla classics.

This one is for Dilla!


On today’s featured video Mochilla presents Timeless a composer series, this show featuring the work of Dilla in “Suite for Ma Dukes” a 60 piece ensemble orchestrated by Miguel-Atwood Fergusen.   This is “Fall in Love” from Slum Village‘s ‘Fantastic Vol. 2’ album.


As everybody knows, Dilla Month is all February long. Beats of All-Nations will be reflecting on James “Jay Dee” Yancey’s legacy with a collection of some of our favorite videos, rare footage and original images every day this month as a tribute.

Our first video is an episode of “Crate Diggers” where FUSE interviews those closest to Dilla as they shift through one of his record vaults, Ma Dukes speaks on his influences and a record dealer discusses his digging habits.

One comment on “#BeatsOfAllDILLA: 28 Days of James “Jay Dee” Yancey

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