J Dilla Pieced Together Some Of His Musical Influences In This Mixtape (Audio)
August 22 marked the tenth anniversary of The Shining, the J Dilla album released only a few months after his passing in 2006. Tributes to the LP could be seen across social media and elsewhere online, proving that even after death, the iconic Detroit producer continues to delight and inspire. This was proven with the release of The Diary in April of this year, an album comprised of what was reportedly the final collection of previously unissued Dilla content. And while that may be, that doesn’t account for the compilations of others’ work Jay Dee put together in his lifetime.
Yesterday (August 23), Boiler Room made available what it describes as “a never-before-heard mixtape by the master himself.” But it isn’t a collection of his own material. Rather, it’s “a fly-on-the-wall showing of what Jay Dee had blaring out of his speakers” sometime between 1999 and 2000. Included in the 46-minute musical patchwork are Bobby Caldwell’s “Open Your Eyes,” which Dilla famously flipped for Common’s 2000 hit single “The Light”; Tom Browne’s “Funkin’ for Jamaica,” which appears on the Ummah-produced A Tribe Called Quest song “Find a Way”; the Crusaders featuring Randy Crawford’s “Street Life”; Sly & the Family Stone’s “Family Affair”; and many more.
But the tape is more than a collection of some of J Dilla’s inspiration for sampling. It features his scratching, too, so in many ways it plays like a long-lost DJ set. As spotted at egotrip, the “Back to the Crib” mixtape has been released in celebration of BBE Records’ commemorative The Shining 45 vinyl box set.