Philly Loves J Dilla

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It’s a frightening prospect, writing about Jay Dee, aka J Dilla, aka James DeWitt Yancey. He’s a legend, and he’s gone. To say that he’s one of the most influential figures in hip-hop history is an understatement. He’s touched nearly every legendary record of the mid-’90s and early 2000s, and basically did it all without even desiring credit for his work. As a producer, he wanted to be like Pete Rock (and ended up working with him later in his life, too). Well, he ended up being in Pete’s elite company, both creative fathers of thoughtful hip-hop. His production credits aside, Jay also blew people’s minds as a part of Slum Village, a humble threesome of friends who became tight in high school in Detroit who loved to battle rap. They were pegged as the next A Tribe Called Quest a little too quickly for Jay’s liking; while Tribe’s following had a phrase to use to describe it—“backpack rap”—Dilla said he didn’t wear no backpack. Born to musical parents, an opera singer mother and a jazz bassist father, his mom claimed he had an impeccable ear for harmony and syncopation at two-months-old. And as he started ceaselessly collecting vinyl and spinning records whenever he could, he became obsessed. Unfortunately, in 2006, at the ripe age of 32, Jay Dee succumbed after years of illness. He suffered from thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, a rare blood disease, and seemingly lupus as well. He’d started to lose weight and perform in a wheelchair as his health dwindled. Well, this night should be a unique and exciting way to channel his monstrous musicality and celebrate his outstanding catalogue. DJs ?uestlove, Rich Medina and Mike Nyce will spin some of Jay’s best, which means sophisticated breakbeats, refreshing percussion runs and danceable jazz. It’s $17 in advance and $20 at the door, and a portion of the proceeds will go to the Lupus Foundation on behalf of J Dilla. Pretty awesome. / Bill Chenevert

9pm. $17-$20. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. johnnybrendas.com

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EVENT DETAILS

WHEN
Monday, February 25, 2013
Recurring: ONCE

TIME & PRICE
9pm. $17-$20

WHERE
Johnny Brenda’s , 1201 N. Frankford Ave., Philadelphia, PA
One time only on 02/25/2013. .

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