“Dilla: The Timeless Tribute” is a culmination of 6+ years work from Bristol (UK) based, IBMCs affiliated producer Vice Beats. Having heard the Suite For Ma Dukes by Miguel Atwood Ferguson, he was inspired to create his own, unique tribute to J Dilla merging the Classical and Hip hop worlds to blend and infuse this new soulful, Hip hop and Jazz influenced composition.
The Timeless Tribute features a stellar cast of musicians from around the world, brought together through a collective love of Jay Dee, and Hip hop.The project takes some well loved original Dilla pieces, and through the 40 minute journey creates new compositions, reworks, and a massive range of styles. The projects key collaborators include the incredible vocal and instrumental talent of Greg Blackman (BBE), alongside Bristol based musicians Thalassic (saxophone & flute), Vince Martin (Violin) and Audiosnax of Don’t Sleep (Ujima Radio) on vocal cuts and co-production.
Alongside the main collaborators there are artists featured from around the world, including a wide range of UK based talent such as Brotherman, Jaz Kahina, Nutty P, Oracy, Habitus, Joe Publik (BorninaBarn) and many more. In addition, there are collaborators from the US, Australia, Brazil, Holland et al, including Audessey (Soundsci), Distantstarr, Risskant and Toddy (formerly Toddla Emcee).
Being cited by a number of tastemakers as one of the most original takes on Dilla’s music they’ve heard, this is not a traditional tribute album by any means. All money raised from the album is going to the James Dewitt Yancey Foundation, based in Detroit, who work with young musicians offering them musical opportunities, and continue to build Dilla’s legacy. The foundation is close to Vice beats’ heart, who has a background in community youth music work across the UK spanning 10+ years.
The album, which was released on 7th February 2020 (Dilla’s birthday) features a limited edition worldwide vinyl release through HHV and Fat Beats, alongside streaming and download.
The graphics are by London based illustrator and abstract artist Nina Wara, whose beautiful visuals were created through a process of paint layering to create an eye catching and creative piece, merging Dilla’s MPC, an original sketch of the man himself, and a vintage, classical feel to the backdrop. A fitting graphic for the audio montage created by the album.
Vice beats has been producing music as a solo artist alongside collaborations independently under his own label imprint – EQ Music.
Most notably, Vice beats has collaborated with Gardna, Great Scott, Panacea (Rawkus Records), Replife and The Scribes, plus sharing stages through his various projects with Scroobius Pip, Speech Debelle, Lazy Habits and Paper Tiger to name but a few.
“Vice Beats presents – Dilla: The Timeless Tribute” is truly a work of art and something so special, it will evoke the need to listen from start to finish and get you reflecting and connecting to be a part of this immutable musical conversation.