J Dilla is undoubtedly one of the most influential producers of the 21st Century. His legacy of iconic beats served the backdrop for countless hip hop giants with the likes of Slum Village and Tribe Called Quest. His his solo releases such as 'Donuts' and remixes had just as much impact, so much so that his body of work in his short but productive 32 years is widely deemed as an unspoken gold standard among hip hop producers and beyond.
Coming from a musical background, J Dilla's innate understanding of the the natural groove revolutionalized how an electronic sampling machine could be used to reinterpret music; ensuring that the organic sensibilities of live instrumentation is reimagined in a contemporary format without the loss of (and in most cases amplified) the soulful essence of the original.
Here is a great tribute video to the artistry of the great James 'J Dilla' Yancey.
(Words by Hsiao-Lan Liu)