Another freaky sample discovery that tripped me out. I say no names, but he killed this rare jazz record. The thing I love so much about this beat is the drum programming. He went crazy with all the various drum patterns and Busta went even crazier by tailoring his rhyme flows to match Dilla's drums, which changed up every two bars for the whole song. Pure genius. I always felt like he gave Busta some of his best work.
3. J Dilla, "Time: The Donut of the Heart"
I can't even express the way I felt when I first heard this beat; It floors me to this day. First of all, the loop is pitched down and time-compressed, so it was already sounding crazy out of the gate. He then had the nerve to slow the beat down, double time, in the middle of nowhere! He was a thinking man. I loved that about Dilla. His approach to flipping joints was so left field.
2. Common, "Thelonius"
I discovered the sample for this beat by accident. One day, I was going through some George Duke records and the part crept up on me like a stick up kid. I almost passed out. The way he heard the moment on the record was so awkward, no one would have ever thought of using it. I also loved the bassline he programmed around the loop. It's totally out and funky at the same time. A lot of beat makers are devoid of that FUNK nowadays.
1. Black Star, "Little Brother"
This was Dilla's homage to Pete Rock, one of his biggest influences. He re-flipped a Roy Ayers sample once used by Pete, but he absolutely murdered it the second time around. The parts of the record he used was so clever, genius and unmatched 10 years later. Legend had it that it took him a day to make this beat. It sounds so simple, but it's really not.
DJ Spinna is a New York-based DJ/producer whose hip hop label, Correct Technique, will be releasing albums by SPOX PhD (his collaboration with rapper Ox the Architect), Shabaam Sahdeeq and The Jigmastas.
What's your favorite Dilla beat? Drop a line in the comments below.