what if dilla produced jay-z’s blueprint?

July 7, 2009

So several djs and mixtape “kings” release mashups using Jay-Z’s vocals like all the time.  Jay-Z and Radiohead.  Jay-Z and Dangermouse.  Jay-Z and Oasis.  Jay-Z and Fela Kuti (Nigerian Gangster).  Jay-Z and Linkin Park.  Jay-Z and Coldplay.

Jay-Z and (insert ANYTHING).  I even heard Jay-Z and The Verve…yeah that Bittersweet Symphony song:

I think the Black Album is one of the most remixed / mashed up rap albums of all time.  And if that’s not the case, then at least Jay is one of the most remixed rap artists of all time (sorry Lil Wayne…I’m strictly talking about efforts not initiated by the artist).

So in tradition of the mash-up, I came across something that showcases the distinct flavor of a true pioneering producer, J Dilla (R.I.P) and the seemingly versatile raps of Jay-Z.  The mash-up belongs to a DJ Jimmy Green and I think he puts forth a good effort in mixing the two contrasting styles together.  On the J Dilla side you have raw, boom blip (as I like to call it), Detroit gritty beats.  On the Jay-Z side you have laid back and variable, but often short rhymes that play off and on beats.

I was intrigued to come across this great mash-up of two totally different styles.  I think it’s solid.  I don’t know how much digging this DJ had to do because a lot of these Dilla beats are familiar, but I do applaud the attempt.


Give this a spin if you love J Dilla.  I think it’ll put a new spin (literally) on some great Dilla beats.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised to hear Jay-Z’s voice on Dilla tracks.

I think some true Dilla heads would be offended that someone would dare to mix such a highly commercialized rapper with an underground legend.  But ehh…I think it works.

P.S.  I read (and disagreed to some degree) an interesting article on Dilla:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/musicblog/2009/jun/16/cult-j-dilla

Let me know what you think.