I’m a huge fan of instrumentals. Of course, I appreciate the rappin’ as well, but often I am totally content when there’s just an incredible beat and no shitty rappity rap character to mess it up by rhyming sense, cents, and scents (don’t even ask me how…). And while the debate will forever continue as far as who the greatest producer of all time is, when it comes to straight up beats, there is no discussion. Yes, RZA changed the game, and his catalog is unfuckwittable. Yes, Q-tip did a little of everything, from ATCQ to his work with Nas and Mobb Deep early in their career. Yes, you weren’t shit in the early to mid 90’s if you didn’t have a Pete Rock remix. Yes, Alchemist has been cooking crack since the 90’s and doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.
All of these arguments are valid, but I’m not here to debate. Not today. I could make a case for Dilla all day and there would be no shortage of co-signs, but I’ll let the music speak for itself. When it comes to who can make a track that can stand alone, with no MC, that I can listen to over and over, Dilla is has no peers. I remember when a friend of mine had unearthed something called “Dilla Beats 2005 MPC” somewhere on the internet. We had no clue what it would be. When it finished downloading, we had about 70 tracks. You would think that there would be a ton of filler and throwaway joints, and a few bangers here and there. Nope. Every track that came on seemed better than the last. No vocals, no hooks. Just beats. I filled out my stan application while listening to those tracks.
This compilation began as an idea for a mixtape for the homie Speez, but I decided I would expand on the idea and make a compilation of my favorite Dilla instrumentals, and post them for everyone to enjoy. I started out with the idea that I would only post rare jewels… conflict diamonds crafted by the late great J Dilla. But I was drinking. So the end result is a little of everything. From the smooth, jazzed-out neo-soul type stuff, to the straight bangers that make you wanna steal a car, all the way to the almost bizarre, kush influenced work that he did with Madlib later in his career.
I basically dropped everything I had onto a playlist and then moved whatever I was digging at the moment to another playlist. I excluded tracks from “Donuts” and tried to avoid and beats that were eventually used by someone, but there were a handful that I couldn’t leave out. So while this may not be a “rarities” collection, I’m hoping that it’s something better – a bunch of ridiculous beats that you can smoke weed AND move bricks to.
(Shout out to our comment community, for making it snow in the summer time).
Download the comp here.
note – i had a different order for the tracks in mind when i was putting this together, but i couldn’t figure out how to set it up so that it unzipped (ll) in the same order. So if the placement of some interludes and intro’s may not make sense when moved to iTunes, My apologies. Feel free to reorganize that shit.