One thing you have to love about any good to great DJ is the variety of records or music in the age of mp3s that they collect. A DJ who deals in pop top 40 clubs has to always be ready for the crowd change that will come, be it they call for more Rock or Hip Hop and then that becomes an issue because different places have different taste. In Hip Hop that is a real issue every DJ has to be ready for. You can go to LA and do a gig and for some reason the place you’re at isn’t trying to hear Dre, Cube, Snoop or any typical West Coast sound and may want that sound that Little Brother gives off. You have to be just as or more open minded as your crowd.
With all that said I ran across a copy of a mixtape dedicated to Dilla, Jay Dee, by Bostons’ world famous Mr. Show OFF himself DJ Statik Selektah. I thought I lost the zip file I burned to a CD since a few CDs are messed up. Now I’ve only heard a few of his mixtapes and those weren’t really mixtapes they were more like rapper mixtapes where he was the DJ on hand to handle the mixing. Add that to the fact I’ve heard a few Showoff Radio mix shows on Shade 45. So when I thought about how good this could be I knew the skills of Statik would be in play but what would he play? I’m the kind of guy I really don’t want to read the tracklisting of a mixtape I like to be surprised of they chose for the particular output. And I have to say I love the mix of songs that were chose to make this mixtape… Ok I do have a complaint and that it has way too many Common songs.
You do get a Slum Village instrumental with the Common classic “I Used To Love H.E.R” and from there it just gets better. That eases into one of my all time favorite The Roots songs “Act 2” featuring Common. Something I figured most DJs wouldn’t do or just never liked to do was play songs back to back by the same artist. We get two Roots tracks back to back. We also are treated to one of the at the time newer tracks produced by Dilla and that is “Hold The Torch” by Busta featuring Q Tip. There is one Slum Village song and it wasn’t “Fall In Love” or “Players”, that alone made me give Statik respect because everyone seems to cop out by playing those two songs when they do throw a Slum Vill track on. We’re treated to another Common song, this could have easily been a Common and Dilla mixtape. It does feel that way when you look at the fact there are a lot of Common tracks on here just how much they did their thing together and are connected even more than Q Tip and Dilla or Dilla with Slum Vill. In the midst of the rocking ‘The Light” the remix comes in that was also produced by Dilla and was on some soundtrack that I can’t put my finger on at this time , and if you know me you know I don’t bitch up and Google music info… I’m not built like that AT ALL.
I love how one the more popular Dilla Produced tracks gets love and that is “Find My Way” by Tribe Called Quest. I remember talking to a few people who really thought they couldn’t pick a Dilla beat out and was wondering why this guy was getting so much love. I went straight to this song and those people instantly went “Oh MY God, really”? And they get thrown off when I just listing all the radio shit that they never even knew Dilla was the man behind the beat. But back to the mixtape and I have to say I’m the dude skipping the second Tribe song as well as the Bush Babees and Mos Def track. Never was a big Bush Babees fan at all, no dissing just wasn’t a fan like that. After the little interlude by Tip we’re treated to an LB, Little Brother, song who fits in the mix perfectly with “Lovin It”. It shows just how Dilla is an influence to 9th Wonder beat making style. From there you get a song that I didn’t know Dilla Produced til I got out here to KC and bought the single in 05’ and heard it and loved the song back home thanks to DJ Bee 9 o’clock mix on the radio back then. That song is to me one the iller De La Soul, Dilla and Preemo connections “Much More”, I always loved how Preemo comes off in the beginning. Of course a Show Off mixtape wouldn’t come by without a Term track even if it’s a mixtape about Dilla. The song fits the vibe and I have to say it is why I fuck with Term because he is a true student of Hip Hop and you know this even if you never heard this track ”This Is Hip Hop” was added or not. Now something is a nice surprise and really has nothing to do with the over all tone of the mixtape but does sound good is the blend of a Pac verse and Biggies last verse to “Juicy” over some old school beats. One of the few songs could have been left off is Skillz “Hip Hop Died?” Not that I don’t like it I just don’t feel it like that and after such and up tempo mix with Pac and Biggie has this track follow it. It could have been thrown in somewhere else…That’s why we have skip buttons. Tekzilla aka Hi Tek and Kweli get some shine which is important because besides Dilla the other only successful Mid West producer before Black Milk came through was Tek. Another Common song? Well an Erykah Badu track featuring Com and THEN two Common songs, it is a bit of over kill when it comes to just how many times Common pops up on here. Not really Feeling the Kweli song after the Com-A-Thon section but I do love how “Imagine” by Snoop made the cut, the remix too with Busta. It fits perfectly to have this song rock in the mix. The last official song is “Muisc Is My Life” which even on the Hi Tek albunm is a classic because you have so much going on. The song has Dilla speaking on his love for music and how much it means to him and from there Nas kills it with an ill first verse followed by Tek on the mic and then guess who???? Yeah Common again, if I wasn’t a fan I’d be tired of hearing his voice… I usually get the feeling when I hear this mixtape so I skip the Com-A-Thon section. But I love “Music Is My Life” and to hear Masrsha Ambrosious sing the hook is just ill. Now I said song wise this was it because I think and I maybe wrong so I just figure the Black Thought track was supposed to be on his solo album that may never ever come out but it is was on a The Roots album. Side info before the death of Dilla The Roots were kinda of pissed the beat you’ll hear Thought spit over was on the Donuts album. So like I said “Can’t Stop This” is there too as well as a freestyle by Term over a Dilla beat.
Is this a good mixtape? Hell yeah but if you’re not a fan of the artists or the brand of Hip Hop you might not like this. This mixtape plays well with post or pre watching Brown Sugar because it fits that movement the movie gave off music wise. There could have been more of the artists Dilla worked with within the Detroit area that really never made it mainstream even by underground standards like Phat Kat, Frank N Dank and Danny Brown as well as those out west too. This is a good mixtape if you love this style and are open to other styles of Hip Hop and you can download for free from a few sites so if you can get that poppin do so. I don’t give links but this is a mixtape that is all over the net so click here and enjoy