It’s been five years since J Dilla lost his battle with lupus in 2006, leaving the hip hop community reeling. Since his untimely death, his work has been given its plaudits, especially by Erykah Badu, Q-tip and Questlove who continually pay tribute to him – dedicating songs, crafting new music to his unheard work; tweeting about him. His jazzy and intricate beat loops began shaping hip-hop in the early 90s via A Tribe Called Quest, D’angelo, Common, Janet Jackson to name a few, while he was still a member of Slum Village. Although the group notably went separate ways to pursue solo careers, had line-up changes and lost Baatin last year under mysterious circumstances, the final Slum Village album was released in 2010. The Villa Manifesto album is a testament to their legacy, featuring unheard Dilla beats and new vocals Baatin laid down for the project. Surviving member of the Detroit trio T3, says he will continually honour the group’s memory and in his mission, will be joined by Dilla’s brother Illa J to perform live at London’s Jazz Cafe on June 6th. (Words: Selina Ditta)
For more details visit the Jazz Cafe website.