J Dilla: The Shining
I finally picked up the commercial release since my promo was un-reviewable. (It was overdubbed with Kubrick movie samples as an anti-piracy measure.) This posthumous follow-up to the fabulous instrumental collection Donuts is just as eye-opening. (I never could get into Welcome 2 Detroit.) First up, Busta Rhymes goes crazy over a swarm of electronic bees. Then “E=MC2” featuring Common reminds me of the electro vibe from Ummah-produced “Get a Hold” by A Tribe Called Quest. Common’s flow is smooth as usual. “Love Jones,” at a mere minute, is soulful, jazzy bliss. A second Common track, “So Far To Go,” is another highlight. The beat is like butter, and Common’s lyrics rival CL on “Lots of Lovin.” (A version of the break is “Bye” on Donuts.) Moody “Over the Breaks” and “Body Movin’” are heavy with thick vintage analogue synths. Karriem Riggins collaborates. Finally, “Won’t Do” is a sweet summation with funky electronics and a rap ode to multiple partners. This album hearkens back to the days of Dilla’s classic nineties productions. An instrumental version is imminent. It’s a beautiful, bittersweet release. Dilla’s genius will be missed.