Vice Beats is a Bristol UK-based producer, who has released material as a solo artist alongside collaborations with the likes of Gardna, Great Scott, Panacea, Replife, The Scribes through his own label EQ Music. Through a series of various collaborative projects, Vice Beats has shared stages with Scroobius Pip, Speech Debelle, Lazy Habits and Paper Tiger among others.
Dilla: The Timeless Tribute, the Bristol-based producer and artist’s forthcoming album is the culmination of over six years of work: As the story goes, after hearing “Suite For Ma Dukes” by Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Vice Beats was inspired to create his own tribute to the legendary and beloved J. Dilla by crafting compositions that meshed classical, hip-hop, soul and jazz. Featuring a eclectic cast of musicians and artist from all around the world, brought together through their collective love of Dilla and hip-hop, the album finds the rising British producer and artist teaming up with Don’t Sleep’s Audiosnax (vocal cuts, production), Greg Blackman (vocals), Thalassic (sax, flute), Vince Martin (violin) Brotherman, Jaz Kahina, Nutty P, Oracy, Habitus, Joe Publik, Soundsci‘s Audessy, Distantstarr, Risskant, Toddy and a list of folks from the US, Australia, Brazil, Holland and elsewhere taking some well-loved Dilla compositions and creating new compositions or reworking material through a variety of styles. Reportedly, the album which is slated for a February 7, 2020 release through HHV and Fat Beats — on what would have been J. Dilla’s 46th birthday — has created a bit of buzz among tastemakers as being a highly original take on Dilla’s work, making it a cliche-defying tribute album.
Of course, all the proceeds from the album will be going to the Detroit-based James Dewitt Yancey Foundation, an organization that works with young musicians, offering them musical opportunities — while continuing to build upon Dilla’s legacy. Interestingly, the foundation is also close to Vice Beats’ heart, as the Bristol-based producer and artist has an extensive background in community youth music work in the UK.
Dilla: The Timeless Tribute‘s latest single is the upbeat yet thoughtful “Bring It Back.” Centered around Vice Beats’ J. Dilla-inspired rework, which features tweeter and woofer rocking beats and a soulful vocal sample, the track finds the Bristol-based producer collaborating with two London-based emcees Jaz Kahina and Nutty P. Throughout the song, the emcees reminiscing about their past while exploring their relationship with discovering self-love and acceptance. Of course, naturally the song — naturally — find the pair of emerging London-based emcees openly talking about Dilla’s massive influence on them and on hip-hop in general. But more importantly, the song is rooted in the sort of much-needed, hard-fought and harder-won experience and wisdom that you generally won’t hear in our age of increasingly superficial, prepackaged, mainstream music.