J. Dilla may well be one of hip-hop’s most beloved producers and for many of the genre’s fans, J. Dilla’s tragic death from lupus in 2006 has left a gaping hole. Certainly, there are few contemporary producers who possess a sound as warm, soulful or as inventive as Dilla; so the fact that Phife Dawg, of A Tribe Called Quest paid homage to the great producer on his latest single “Dear Dilla” shouldn’t be terribly surprising.
To me there are several things that makes the song – Phife showing love to the great producer, with an candor and earnestness that hasn’t been seen in contemporary hip hop in some time.
The video takes to the streets of Detroit, namely the corner of MacDougall and Nevada, where you see a cameo by Dilla’s mom, for an incredible shot of her, lovingly holding a picture of her boy, a guest appearance by one member of Tribe, and it includes stops at J. Dilla’s Donut shop.
Also if you buy the single through iTunes, the proceeds will go directly to help Dilla’s two young daughters – a worthy cause if I must say so.