Recap: Boombox: 6th Annual Celebration of the Life & Music of Detroit’s finest… J DILLA

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For those individuals who participate in the knowledge of what’s up, February marks a momentous month in the year. Aside from the celebration of Black History Month, February is also the time to pay tribute to the legacy of J Dilla; the underground Hip-Hop producer whose genius of timeless music is still felt even years after his death. If you’ve ever nodded your head in appreciation to tracks by A Tribe Called Quest, Common, Janet Jackson, or the Pharcyde, chances are you also came across the soulful production of James Yancey, commonly known by his stage name, J Dilla. Most likely to be your favorite producer’s favorite producer, J Dilla is known as a musical pioneer of Hip-Hop, which is why it’s no surprise that many individuals and artists willingly admit “J Dilla changed my life.” I can easily co-sign to that truth because upon hearing my first Dilla tracks, “So Far to Go,” and “Time: Donuts of the Heart” I knew its heavy rhythm and percussion’s was unlike anything I had ever heard. It was like falling in love with Hip-Hop all over again, but this time in a different language: Dilla-style.

From Detroit to Downtown, LA Hip-Hop enthusiasts are paying respect and celebrating the legacy of J Dilla in February, the month of his birthday. This past Saturday on February 2nd, Grand Star Jazz Club in DTLA was the place to be for the 6th Annual Celebration of The Life & Music of Detroit’s Finest… J Dilla. The night included special guests Oh No of Stones Throw, Exile of Dirty Science, Dibia$e, Knxwledge and guest host MED. Resident deejays Inka One and Ben Diggin also paid tribute to Detroit’s finest by the rotation of classic Dilla tracks.

Upon arrival, I made my way to the illuminated dance floor, grateful that cute ladies get to bypass the line. The beautiful LA crowd slowly poured inside as the night progressed. A portion of all proceeds from the evening benefited the J Dilla Foundation, an organization committed to help fund inner-city music programs and provide scholarships to students attending schools that have progressive music curricula. Peep the goodness at an admirable example that even in his absence, Dilla’s still making a shining impact.

The best part of a Dilla party though, lies in the music selection. Ben Diggin and Analog for example, didn’t disappoint. Aside from paying homage to Dilla through several of his classic productions, a variety of Golden Era Hip-Hop graced the airwaves—in other words, the melodic flows were in constant rotation and twas crackin’.

Peeking through the stack of vinyl they had on deck, J Dilla’s “The Shining” caught my eye and the classic track “Won’t Do” received much love from the crowd. I made a special request for one of my personal favorite Dilla tracks, “Crushin,” which Ben Diggin’ chose to play to cap the night.

But of course, what’s great music without an opportunity to bless the dance floor with some moves? B-boys and B-girls made their presence known with rhythmic body rocking, isolations and head spinning tricks that received several head nods/jealousy/cheers of appreciation by the crowd. In conclusion, IllSociety Magazine had a great evening and J Dilla fans know how to party.

Rest in beats to one of the greatest to have changed the game of hip-hop: how inspiring it is to know that Dilla’s radiance still shines through his music.

-Elainne Dizon
All photos taken by Elainne Dizon

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