Dear J Dilla

I remember when I first heard ‘A Suite for Ma Dukes’ by Miguel Atwood Ferguson & Carlos Nino last year, I almost cried my eyes out it was so beautiful. Similarly the night of my 25th birthday, while I danced to DJ Jazzy Jeff spinning the same classical rendition of ‘Find a Way’ – I turned around and everyone was pretty much silent with a blank look on their faces like “who is THIS?” (the track…not me dancing, lol). That’s when it kind of dawned on me…

I know there are many a hip-hop head who would argue that you can’t really be a hip-hop aficionado without liking Dilla, and even someone I had a conversation with that was actually pissed off with all these people claiming to love Dilla…just because it’s the ‘in’ thing to do, and that they probably didn’t know who he was until after he died.

Now although I’m a huge fan of t-shirts, I don’t own a ‘J Dilla Changed My Life’ shirt. My musical influence, and especially my relationship with hip hop started later than I would have liked, so I’d say my first knowledge of JDilla was when he left Slum Village. From that time up until his death I’d say that the majority of of artists that I’m into have had some kind of connection with J Dilla.

I promised myself that going on a journey of musical discovery would be one of my New Years resolutions for 2010 – I’m looking forward to digging deeper into Dilla’s contribution to music.


A J Dilla Discography.
Screenprinted 1 Coloron Mohawk Vellum 80lb
Contains all of J Dilla’s productions (not including solo-albums) from 1995-2005.

James Holly