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Posts Tagged ‘j dilla’

The ULTIMATE J Dilla tribute…

In posse on 2009/02/26 at 10:49 am


DAMN! So sorry i missed this one. Too much! But thanks to SweenyKovar, we have a bit of insight into what went down…

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Sunday February 22nd was historic.

That night, Cal State LA’s Luckman Theatre was the place every self-respecting hip hop head worldwide envied. ArtDontSleep, Mochilla, Vtech, Carlos Nino and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson created a spectacular musical performance by having a 40 piece orchestra play select pieces of music from James Yancey’s vast discography. I honestly can’t quite explain the electricity in the air that night, I just know everyone was awed and honored to witness such a show. 


The night begun with DJ House Shoes playing a set of Dilla classics, originals and select voice messages from Erykah Badu, ?uestlove and J Dilla himself, as well as an unreleased and unleaked Dilla song produced by Shoes. In the interim between Shoes and J Rocc, this Mochilla video played on the giant screen behind the stage.

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J Rocc followed with a classic set. J Rocc seems to have every version of every Dilla beat, the full mixes of a good number of heaters and of course a gang of unreleased heat. Still, the biggest spectacle was yet to come. After J Rocc’s set, Common, Ma Dukes and Illa J came onstage to give a brief introduction to the rest of the show. Carlos Nino also appeared to further play host to  Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and The Suite For Ma Dukes Orchestra.


The first of their two 45 minute sets began with the orchestra playing cuts off the Suite for Ma Dukes EP (now available on vinyl and iTunes). To hear cuts like ‘Nag Champa,’ ‘Find A Way’ and ‘Fall in Love’ live in this setting was nothing short of mind blowing, but the real treats were to come. Afterwards, the orchestra began to get deeper into Dilla’s discography. They played a particularly ridiculous rendition of Phat Kat’s ‘Don’t Nobody Care About Us’ and had heads in the audience up in arms with their version of Jaylib’s ‘The Official.’ My personal favorite orchestral rendition was the ominous ‘Take Notice,’ or was it the Dilla beat pauses that Miguel and company pulled of in their rendition of ‘Jealousy’? The intermission came and went. Everyone in the lobby was smiling from ear-to-ear, ecstatic about what had just happened. As people filed back into their seats the curtain was raised once again and Carlos Nino introduced the first of a line of special guests, Karriem Riggins on the drums and Dwele on the mic.


Dwele performed an orchestral version of ‘Angel’ backed up by Amp Fiddler, Bilal and an amazing Portugese singer who’s name escapes me. Afterwards Bilal came onstage to perform an MC-less version of ‘Reminisce,’ followed by an orchestral cover of Stan Getz ‘Saudade Vem Correndo,’ aka the original for the Dilla-produced Pharcyde track ‘Runnin’ that must have given everyone in attendance goosebumps. Then, the closing, ‘Stakes Is High’ with special guests Posdonous of De La Soul and Talib Kweli. Everyone was standing up in their seats, chanting along to the chorus. This was magic.


Once again, a huge thank you goes to everyone involved with this performance. It will be a day that will go down in music history. I am humbled to have been in attendance. 

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via CDR



Suite For Ma Dukes Session January 2008

In posse on 2009/02/18 at 6:23 am

Vodpod videos no longer available.The original recording session for the forth coming J Dilla tribute, Suite for Ma Dukes. The band makes a scratch track for the strings and horns which were laid the next day. 

Wurlitzer: Miguel Atwood-Ferguson
Rhodes: Brandon Coleman
Percussion: Nikki Campbell
Drums: Gene Coye


In posse on 2009/02/11 at 7:11 am

dillwpR.I.P James”J Dilla” Yancey, who died on this day, February 10th, 2006.

James Yancey will be forever be known as J Dilla. He was born in Detroit. His music was the most revered sound in hiphop from the mid-nineties until today. He had worked with everyone from Tribe called Quest to Busta Rhymes, De la Soul, Common even Janet Jackson. His two solo albums for BBE records are classics and his Donuts album for Stones Throw is considered genre defining. Donuts, was completed during one of his extended hospital stays. Dilla suffered from Lupus. It was released on February 7, his 32nd birthday. Three days later, while at his Los Angeles home with his mother (MaDukes), he passed away.

It sure is hard to honor a man who had already done so much musically in his life (and there are many online tributes as we speak), but Los Angeles musicians and J Dilla devotees Carlos Nino & Miguel Atwood Ferguson have certainly made their tribute count. With the help of ArtDontSleep and Mochilla, the two have produced a four song orchestral EP of music originally produced by James “Jay Dilla” Yancey, building on 2 free downloadble songs that have already done the rounds. The pair will also perform the EP, along with other Dilla compositions, with a 36 piece orchestra at a live concert in Los Angeles on February 22nd at the  Luckman Fine Arts Complex. The EP is already available on  available on iTunes and all proceeds go directly to Ma Dukes. You can make pre-orders for the CD/LP here. 



1. Find a Way

2. Antiquity

3. Fall in Love

4. Nag Champa

Carlos Nino & Miguel Atwood Ferguson – Nag Champa