Today James Yancey would’ve turned 38 years old, if his life hadn’t been cut short by dramatic health problems back in 2006. But instead of lamenting the huge loss to music, let’s celebrate the gems Dilla was allowed to give us during his short but incredibly productive lifespan. So productive in fact, that entire albums worth of material still haven’t been released yet, like the infamous ‘MCA album’ for which Dilla took a backseat production-wise and showcased his skills as an MC over beats by producers he respected. Featuring Pete Rock, Kanye West, Nottz and many others their was stiff competition among the beat creators, my personal favorite of the ones that leaked over the years though, is the short but nonetheless phenomenal ‘No One Knows’ by Supa Dave West. The vocal sample is mildly but effectively chopped and the way Dilla works it into the beat is pure bliss.
The second one was let loose by frequent Dilla collaborator Waajeed on Bling47, here’s what he had to say about it:
I got this one on a cassette from T3 circa 1997. I’m not sure what it was for, or why Dilla had this on tape, but I thought it was hilarious. “Shut the Fuck Up and listen to this… this.” This kind of style was typical for our crew at this time – we were just finishing up the Fantastic Vol 1 album. It was never about what they said – but instead how they said it. We called it “R.A.W.” – Rugged And wild. And that is exactly what this one is – tape hiss and all.
Thank you Jay Dee.