Welcome to Dillaville [Show Review]

This past Thursday, the “Welcome to Dillaville” tour made a stop at Cabaret Underworld in Montreal, providing a great opportunity to pay homage to the incredible work of the late great J Dilla, who passed 8 years ago.

The tour featured two groups who are significant to Dilla’s legacy: Slum Village as well as former Pharcyde members Fatlip and SlimKid3 and producers J-Swift and L.A. Jay, who now go by the name of Bizarre Ride Live.

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Photo credit: Shaun Michaud

Slum Village, now composed of T3 and Young RJ got the show started by dropping Fall In Love, a timeless Dilla joint. Unfortunately, Illa J, Jay Dee’s brother, was absent. T3 and Young RJ kept going with more classics from Fantastic Vol. 1 and 2, which was the right thing to do while honouring Dilla’s work. And it truly was a marvellous performance from a group who’s been through a lot in the past decade. The reception and the energy emanating from the crowd were quite special. As soon as some of Dilla’s greatest classics were dropped, The Official and Won’t do for exemple, the answer from the crowd was instantaneous, people singing and vibing like crazy.

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Photo credit: Shaun Michaud

The Dilla Tribute continued with Bizarre Ride Live, who closed up the night on a high note. The South Central based hip-hop group went back in time playing mostly tracks from The Pharcyde’s first album, Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde, from Oh Shit to Passin’ Me By. A lively performance, especially from Slimkid3 and J-Swift, that ended with the group giving away free downloads to their new track from an album that should be dropping soon.

 

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Photo credit: Shaun Michaud

 

Watching Slum Village on stage was a probant exemple of the depth and magic that characterized Dilla’s work. We recently learned that all of Dilla’s musical equipment will be donated to The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, immortalizing the Detroit native alongside musical legends such as George Clinton and Ella Fitzgerald. This is a considerable step taken by Maureen Yancey, Dilla’s mother, in cementing Jay Dee’s spot not only in hip-hop history but also in music history, paving the way for a greater recognition of hip-hop as both an artistic expression and a genuine part of the musical plethora. His creative soul will live on on alongside other great creative minds.

It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a decade since one of the most influential producers in hip-hop passed away, but there seems to be an ever lasting life to the Dilla sound. As sad as it may seem, I’m not sure if we will ever witness anything quite like the impact James Yancey has had on Hip-Hop music.

Photo credits: Shaun Michaud.

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