J Dilla: Hip Hop’s Abused Martyr

At the risk of drawing the ire of the all-important Internets community, I’ll say that I was never the biggest Jay Dee fan. Sure, he was a great producer and I liked what he did with The Pharcyde on Labcabincalifornia, and I count Slum Village’s “Fall-N-Love” among some of my favorite songs of all time (somewhere between Mary J Blige and Smif-N-Wessun’s “I Love You” and Hall & Oates’ “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)”), but I never considered him to be the greatest producer of all time; that distinction I’ll always bestow upon DJ Premier.

But much like those people who’ll say the McRib is the greatest sandwich of all time when McDonald’s takes it off their menu (and not just a bizarre concoction of random animal parts mashed between some buns and a bottle of KC’s Masterpiece), the collective of hip hop hypocrites will claim that J Dilla is the greatest thing to happen to urban music since Gilbert O’Sullivan (look it up). I’ve never been convinced that most of Dilla’s fans today were purveyors of his music in the past, and seeing something like Drake perform “Climax” and get virtually an crowd full of blank stares only confirms my suspicions.

When James Yancey passed away four Februaries ago, hip hop lost a talent that was in the midst of peaking, having hitting a stride and developing his own distinct sound. Unfortunately for him he took the road less traveled, and had to deal with getting mixed up with Jermaine Dupri on many occasions, forcing the name change. Hell, I’m sure that some folks who heard Jay Dee had died confused him with the guy who brought us such awe-inspiring talents like Kriss Kross, Xscape and Bow Wow instead. Perhaps due to the manner in which he passed – cardiac arrest, unlike Big Pun’s whose heart simply gave out on him from years of abusing it – Dilla wasn’t looked at as some sort of mystical force whose life was tragically cut short due to violence.

There was even a time when Dilla was looked upon as the catalyst for A Tribe Called Quest’s breakup. Coming in when ATCQ was in the midst of their issues (never mind the fact Consequence came in around the same time as well, but to far less scrutiny), Dilla was wrongfully was accused of sabotaging their sound on Beats, Rhymes And Life when in actuality Tribe’s internal strife was what fucked up everything between them.

Seeing the way J Dilla is “appreciated” now is, quite frankly, almost sickening at times. Some of his “fans” today likely did not care about him while he was alive, and the type of faux devotion he receives from them now is just wrong. Yet I’m sure I’ll run into a few of these types at the next Donuts Are Forever party. Good grief.

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    • Dre

      Whats ya real beef with dilla? from what im reading,ya sort of saying that he wasn’t all of that. thats kinda harsh,have you even seen his catalog?you mention preemo,but he was fuseing hip-hop w/ music on a broader scale than preemo.declineing to work with mainstream artists(jay z,nas etc.) to harness his craft with developing artists(slum,common,phat kat etc.).That alone says how great of a musician he was.Hell,preemo can’t rap…

      • http://www.myspace.com/djmselect M-Select

        janet jackson wasn’t mainstream!? preem & dilla are two of the all-time greats. to say one is better than the other is absurd. ask preem himself, or pete rock, about his greatness.

  • Hip-hop fan

    Boo. Once again a wack article from Meka..someone tell me how this dude still has a job?

  • Onederin

    While agree with most of what you said, I don’t really understand how the blank stares can really confirm your suspicions. I mean, this was done at a Microsoft event. You really think you’re going to get a fanbase with varied knowledge of hip-hop music at a Microsoft event? Maybe some, but I wouldn’t think so.

  • http://www.bboycult.com $yk

    I don’t see it either. He doesn’t come before Premo & RZA IMO.

    And Erick Sermon is high on my list.

  • James

    yo who is this disrespectful motherfucker writing on this shit now everys fucking day he putting down something or someone. shit you said abouts pun was foul fuck u

  • NahNah

    Meka…you try to confirm your point because people that go to Drake concerts don’t know dilla? I bet if they played RZA instrumental, Pete Rock or Preem, the fans wouldn’t know either. I’m not saying all Drake fans don’t know hip hop, all I’m saying is the majority of those people don’t listen to it like heads do. I agree with a lot of what he said, a lot of people praise dilla without understanding his work. Part of it is because he died, but a big part is that a lot of his best work came out right before he died (and even after, like House of Flying Daggers) and it took a few years to sink in. Dilla most definitely is fucking with Preem…you can argue who is better based on preference, but based on how technically sound he was he’s definitely up there…there still isn’t a single producer in the game who can eq their drums like Dilla, even though everyone tries.

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/PhatsouL87 P-souL

      i completely agree with you, its a to each-is-own situation ya know. i think dilla is the best in my eyes for numerous reasons and ive been a fan, well of his old team (slum village) and still today. since 2002 with their album trinity, i use to get elzhi and dilla confused when i heard them rhyme. i went back and copped their fantasic vol. 2 album the same year, what blow me away about dilla was when i heard his production then i was blown away and amazed on how practically all his beats he’s dine around the late 90′s were all ill! and ive at that point decided he was too dope! at the golden era of hip hop (90′s) even then ive heard producers with dope ass beats but some of them werent all that consistant. ive heard a dope beat here and there like on albums but to hear like all the tracks on a album with beats sounding hot was amazing to me. i wasnt expecting that when i heard fantastic vol 2 in ’02. of course ive done my homework with dilla ad slum v then. ive stayed on their music. but i do agree, their are a lot of “fan faux” out there. ppl just getting up on dilla because of dounts and praising him as if they’ve been on his music. im going to post a vid about this, cause i disagree dude. for the most part. but its a to each is own situation. u dont like dilla oh well. move on. hate the fan faux not the actually ppl the listen and know his music. in this article i felt like he was trying to bash dilla because of the praise he was getting from fans of all kinds.

  • http://Pierzy11@gmail.com Pierzy

    However, there is a counter argument that could be made – while Dilla is getting fans and shine finally in death, isn’t it better than his body of work to be completely overlooked forever?

    You can’t be mad at people for not liking something when dude’s alive and then realizing his talent in death because the only other alternative is that they ignore him in death too.

  • the truth

    “I’ve never been convinced that most of Dilla’s fans today were purveyors of his music in the past, and seeing something like Drake perform “Climax” and get virtually an crowd full of blank stares only confirms my suspicions.”

    That’s a ignorant thing to say, how can you judge “most” of dilla’s fans by saying that? do you think sv fans actually attend drake shows?

    also, climax is a song hiphop heads know about, mostly the older generation, im 28 and i know that track, my brother is 13 and is into “new” hiphop and he had not known about dilla until i showed him.

    You gotta understand something about our current young generation, most don’t go back and learn the history of anything let alone hiphop history unless they get into the art form, there are very few youngin’s looking into the history of hiphop in my opinion.

    Drake’s following is mostly made up by a younger generation, who could care less about who was hot even a year ago, and if i had to put my money on it drakes fans are primarily women and girls.

    Drake is a pop artist!!!,

    dilla was a hiphop legend!!!,

    people who follow pop artist don’t necessarily follow hiphop legends past work.

  • http://lifelostinparadise.blogspot.com/ LEEO

    I kind of agree with you, but you got to admit that this is something very common,, i mean for example..Micheal Jackson, sure he was worshipped for a period of time, but towards his death people didnt really care about him until all of a sudden he died and people recognized him for his music again.. I think it takes something bad in order to notice something good.

  • http://lifelostinparadise.blogspot.com/ LEEO

    I kind of agree with you, but you got to admit that this is something very common,, i mean for example..Bob Marley, Micheal Jackson, sure he was worshipped for a period of time, but towards his death people didnt really care about him until all of a sudden he died and people recognized him for his music again.. I think it takes something bad in order to notice something good.

  • Anonymous

    peep that http://www.get2knowpro.com :: hiphop w/ that bboy appeal :: ‘fruition’ out now.

  • http://www.youtube.com/shience shience

    eh i feel u mek.. but like one of the commenters said..its better to be acknowledged post-mortemly than not at all..i mean ppl were jocking Static from Playa after he died just cuz he was on the Lollipop track wit Wayne..im sure none of them dudes have Playa’s 1st album

  • Anonymous

    peep that http://www.get2knowpro.com :: hiphop w/ that bboy appeal :: ‘fruition’ out soon.

  • Thomas

    “There was even a time when Dilla was looked upon as the catalyst for A Tribe Called Quest’s breakup. Coming in when ATCQ was in the midst of their issues (never mind the fact Consequence came in around the same time as well, but to far less scrutiny), Dilla was wrongfully was accused of sabotaging their sound on Beats, Rhymes And Life when in actuality Tribe’s internal strife was what fucked up everything between them.”

    Co-sign this. When this album dropped (copped when it dropped) people were up in arms over the “new” sound it had and Consequence was getting roasted for his inclusion as he wasn’t a “worthy” guest; since ATCQ had LONS and Busta on previous releases. I didn’t subscribe to that notion just noting the album was “different” from the other albums.

    RZA is probably my favorite of all time, but I’m just a wu head.

  • fredMS

    lol this is a little late

    • http://www.hgraphiks.com Kid Captain Coolout

      I agree. On Unkut.com there’s a piece called “Five Zealously Overrated (and often dead) Hip-Hop Artists” that was posted in March. There’s 160 comments on that one.

  • JT


  • JT


  • BT


  • jay jay

    Meka…you’re a bitch.

  • Ace

    choppin’ samples does not necessarily make a good producer. There are definitely memorable dilla beats, but how many more beats can you name from Premo, RZA, Dre, Timbo?

    Dilla’s a fine producer. Labcab… is a damn good album. Runnin’s one of my favorite tracks ever. But, everyone knows a Premo track on first listen. Same goes for RZA. There have been a few times when I immediately recognize a dilla beat, but more often, I don’t know it’s his. He’s the only “vaunted” h-h producer that I can’t immediately recognize. In my view, that makes the author right.

  • And Won

    I knew about Jay Dee from Slum Village and from ATCQ, I bought the Jaylib album when it dropped, but I never really gave him a close listen until days before he died.

    I bought Dilla Donuts from a record Store the weekend before it came out and then five days later he passed. I really liked Donuts and now I own almost his whole catalog, “The Shining”, “Ruff Draft EP”. I know, I still need “Welcome 2 Detroit”, but I don’t feel too guilty being a J Dilla fan, I just slept a little at first. To me, his production is up there with Dr. Dre and RZA. Dilla was a one of a kind beatsmith.

  • JG

    I’ll say this, Madlib right now should be getting more exposure since his style is as distinct and precise as Dilla’s was (though his beats were less precise on purpose sometimes). There were many people I know who knew Jay Dee’s music before he died, and loved it. I also know many who only started playing his music, and talking about him after he has died. I guarantee that many could recognize the sample used in his numerous beat sample mixes. I could also guarantee that there are many more who say they think he is the best and wouldn’t even recognize a beat from his “Welcome 2 Detroit” album, or J-88.

    Premier, Pete Rock, Madlib, Jay Dee, these are names that it’s hard to compare with saying who’s the best. Each inspire, and put their souls into the productions.

    Basically, I agree somewhat with this article, but I disagree with him not being considered in the presence of Premier.

  • Malik

    Madlib>Dilla>RZA and then it’s everyone else.

    Madlib is #1 because his beats don’t sound like “Hey guys, I’m taking a hip hop sound and putting it with an artist who ISN’T hip hop”. Not to mention the sure range, quality, and quantity of all the records he puts out. His love of 70s jazz is a little too much though if you go through his entire catalog.

  • Stone

    “….Drake perform “Climax” and get virtually an crowd full of blank stares only confirms my suspicions.

    “an crowd”??? I didn’t know the word “crowd” started with AN “A,E,I,O,U, (or sometimes Y”)

    you’re bad at writing / editing Meka….hit me up if you want someone with a college degree to edit your articles for you before you post them and embarrass yourself.

  • http://www.wevegotthejazz.com Zilla

    I’m also not the biggest Dilla, fan, but this article really did nothing to say why he’s a so-called “abused” martyr. Because some people don’t know about Drake’s rendition of climax? I mean if you’re going to come out and downplay the artist or his fans (I think the fans were meant to be the topic of your article), then do it. Don’t give me an article/post which if anything, appears to be a poorly wrought out introduction rather something with actual depth. This was nothing more than a half-assed attempt to pass superfluous and unconnected musings off as a something that should have been more clear, concise, and to the point.

  • cozer

    This is a dope write up. It proved a very valid point and don’t listen to the people bashing you due to the fact that you’ve brought it to the the forefront. DJ Premier in my eyes is the best and due to the loss of the producer helped his catalog that much more. Painters never get recognized for their work until they pass and the same concept can be applied to musicians. Great write up.

  • http://www.chrisdoakes.bandcamp.com cdoakes

    I can understand where you’re coming from. You make a valid point. Outside of the internet J. Dilla’s name falls short of greatness in the average hip-hopper’s ears. I didn’t really become aware of Dilla as a special entity in hip-hop until I began to frequent okayplayer.com. That’s where I saw the “Nothing Like This” video and was captivated by his music. From there I began to search for his work. In a way I learned about Dilla in reverse because it wasn’t until later that I realized that he had been so heavily involved with songs that I was very familiar with (i.e.- Runnin, Drop, The Light, Stressed Out, Didn’t Cha Know, Got Til It’s Gone, Find A Way, Breathe & Stop, Vivrant Thang, Reminisce, etc.)

    So then I realized I was a J. Dilla fan before I knew of J. Dilla. I think that this may be the case for many people.

    When Dilla dropped “Donuts” that became his legacy. It was art that had been meticulously crafted. It was simply beautiful. The bad thing about it is that the average listener did not (and still does not) realize what a genius this guy was. You have to be a true music junkie or producer to understand that Dilla was onto something great. Those that aren’t into Dilla’s music from 2005 forward are probably still relying on their FM tuners to give them good music. Good luck with that.

  • HM

    Stone called it. This seems like nothing more than the typical slap-dash message board rant.

    Zilla too: “this article really did nothing to say why he’s a so-called ‘abused’ martyr.”

    It’s a worthy topic, but this doesn’t take it anywhere.

  • Dee

    LoL at using a Drake show to confirm any suspicions about anything other than mainstream bullsh*t.

  • http://Dapperdon.blogspot.com DapperDon

    totally disagree….Im 21 grew up in a small town in Ohio, and never was really exposed to TRUE hip hop growing up yea there was radio (but we all know how that is same songs over nd over) I did get hip to ATCQ Pharcyde nd many other until about the age of 16-17 (2006-2007ish) around when dilla died and with that i got hip to dilla, and i know like many other late blooming hip-hop heads went back nd found beattapes and all of his samples and productions, and also got introduced to Madlib, MF Doom, Erykah Badu The Roots and a slew of other great artists. Is he the greatest producer of all time (in my eyes yes) to each his ow,n theres no true right/wrong answer but at the end of the day Dilla has an army of soliders that steadily blast and spread his music on the reg i just dont see the hate people are celebrating one of hip hops greats…why hate?

  • ziptopher

    you obviously dont know what ur talking about…geeesh.

  • http://92bpm.com hza

    Drake fans = dilla fans *mostly* don’t mix. Asking a current Drake fan to know an EARLY SV track is like asking a young ball/LeBron fan to name who the human highlight film was, or the Ice Man… Here in Toronto we have both Drake and a very learned SV/Dilla following – I understand. I for one have seen the late comers – who didn’t know anything much about dilla or his body of work- though they new Slum. Go figure. The issue was more that you had hip hop pillars, luminaries and torch bearers who would go around telling ppl that Dilla was their fave [read ?uest, Pharrell, Tip etc...] so you suddenly had avg every day fans/ppl looking around to see who this Dilla was. Meanwhile, a few of us had been messing w/ this for a min. No worries though. I will never ever deny someone the opportunity to discover brilliant new music – but they need to simply do some homework. And many haven’t. Alas though, in today’s ready-set-GOOGLE society, this is to be expected. That’s all. So in principle, I am in accord with the opening title/statement.
    Regardless, there was a reason that Dilla touched ppl all over the world. He influenced many of the influencers today – many of whom have admitted it. It is what it is.

  • http://goinradio.com younghyesthatyoungh

    I will agree that the posthumous fanfare has gotten a bit out of control, but your article states you were never a big fan so your view seems slanted from jump.

    Also, going to Dilla parties when you aren’t an enthusiast sort of makes you like the people you describe you’ll run into at one of them.

    In any case, I’m of the opinion that Dilla was the greatest producer due to what he achieved before dying, while Primo is still my “favorite”

  • Alteez

    Hey dumb ass… Does it make sense that I was like 7-10 years old when Dilla put out most of his Ummah-era production? Does that mean because I heard his music way too late that I’m a bandwagon jumper, and that I don’t know anything about Hip-Hop music in general? Get the facts straight homie; you are making a hasty generalization, and personally, I think it’s a bunch of bullshit.


    I do agree that there are a lot of fake fans out there…but he was one of the illest producers on the mic. Just like Primo is one of the best because he brought his own sound, Dilla did the same! R.I.P Jay Dee! One of the best that ever did it…fuck what ya heard!

  • Cents

    Meka, you’re really starting to disappoint me. I’m loyal to the 2dopeboyz blog and I see it getting more and more watered down, every day, with some of your posts. Then you have the nerve to plug your “journalistic” skills for XXL, which to my recollection is no longer a credible hip hop magazine, and not even take the time to get your facts straight nor stick to the script as far as the title of your article.

    Did come up with the title before or after you came up with the title or did you just figure that if you jazz up the title no one would notice the bullsh*t you’re feeding them? I’m offended to even have taken the time to read this babble. As a fan of hip hop, I feel the same way you do when newcomers find out about an artist, wikipedia them, then go through the fact sheet as if they knew them personally, but who is to say that you’re a purist? *general question*

    We’re all purists in our own minds and there’s always going to be someone out there that knows more, so let us all agree to disagree. But know that when you have the power to mold perceptions with your words, you have to think twice as hard when it comes to what you write and choose to publish. People are listening and watching brotha.


  • http://jamal7mile.blogspot.com Jamal7Mile

    Take into consideration that Dilla shunned the spotlight. The brother stayed in the studio, for real. Me and Dilla knew a LOT of the same Hip-Hop cats going back for years, yet I’ve never met the man.

    Dilla is your favorite producer’s favorite producer. You can’t downplay that fact, regardless of your age or when you started listening to Hip-Hop. Famous or not, Dilla was/is THAT DUDE.

    *sidenote – It’s really cool to see younger fans go back to check the archives on Hip-Hop’s older icons. Salutes!!!

    • these posts are racist


      PS, Pac haters, peep what just happened with “Keep ya Head Up”…the man is relevant.

  • these posts are racist


    Why don’t you ask Primo, Kanye, Common and other rappers who say something? I bet each one would laugh at this drop.

    RIP, Dilla.

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    • RATED-X

      FUCK U DUDE!!!!! u aint important!!!!! when did u get 2 understand HIP-HOP????

  • chris

    i agree or at least concede most of the points made here, though the grammatical errors are a little too blatant to avoid

  • Joshua Grimes

    How are you going to be mad that people are appreciating his work now?? Maybe you are mad because you think they are bandwagon riders. I know when someone dies people tend to curious about what they did so they look it up on the internet or something and this probably describes the type of people you have/will “run in to”. Either way that’s how life is a great artist isn’t usually recognized until after their death. I’ve wasted my time replying to this and reading this.

    P.S. – XXL since yall throwing any old B.S. up here lemme write something and you can buy it.

  • Selfish Gene

    The man (boy) who wrote this article is a cretinous moron. Those tight jeans most be fcking-up the circulations to his single brain-cell.

    The respect Mr. Yancey garnered over the years through hard-work & dedication, is something he will never fathom.

  • Stone


    First, lemme preface my comments by saying that I am a HUGE fan of 2dope, and I respect what you do for the blogger community, but… C’MON SON!!!!

    I hope they(XXL) dont pay you for these “editorials.”

    There is absolutely no substance, no meaning, and DEFINITELY no well-articulated points within this piece of garbage. You suck at writing, and you suck even more at making valid points about hip-hop. Every time I read one of these, I get more and more disappointed that I wasted my time.

    I hope they aren’t relying on you to make their magazine relevant.

    Dilla is one of, if not THE best to ever do it. Peep ANY of Dilla’s contemporaries and their styles, ESPECIALLY their sampling choices / ability, and tell me he hasn’t influenced Hip Hop more than any other producer (outside of Primo) in the past 10 years.

    Listen to Kanye, Listen to Khalil, fuck, even listen to Don Cannon, THEN tell me Dilla gets too much credit.



  • these posts are racist

    All those who love Dilla, and believe he deserves all the love he’s getting, simply type, in the comment section:

    RIP J. Dilla, Fuck Meka.

  • these posts are racist

    RIP J. Dilla, Fuck Meka.

  • d


    RIP J. Dillan (not gonna mention the lame author)

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  • these posts are racist

    RIP J. Dilla/
    Fuck Meka, call me Mr. Meka Killa/
    lyrically i spit, til Meka goin quit/
    not a fair fight, play boy forfeit/
    hardcore rap fans don’t trip/
    he don’t know shit/
    so i take a piss, on this shitty ass blog/
    how u goin run rap, when u never took a job?/
    or a walk around Hip Hop/
    homey you a flip flop/
    i could run rap wearin flip flops/
    Sick of the lies/wolf tears, false cries/villivied by villains livin double lives/from the camps to the double wides/the pj’s crack sales babies die/starving in the streets/destinies meet, bring grief/no honor to a thief/rest in peace to areef/so we collide/ murders and suicides/legislation passed people pass, homicide/ eradicate/cut from different fabrics, they fabricate/mentally masterbate over my death they fascinate/

  • are you kidding me

    imagine how incredibly insulted dilla’s fam would be, reading this bullshit. making him out to be some sort of mediocre producer.

    dilla was a humble dude, not many knew of him when he was around. that was done purposely by him to keep his music the main thing listeners paid attention to.

    the only person who can fuck with dilla on the beats, is madlib. end of fucking story

    fuck you meka

    • ruthless

      i agree what kind of piece of shit blog is this?? When Jay Dee died if you really thought people were talking bout Jermaine Dupri then your a fucking dickhead with shit for brains.

      Dilla will be remembered as one of the greatest what’s your contribution to hip hop Meka this crappy blog and your little bullshit blog page lol
      you really are pathetic go listen to B.O.B or J Cole or that other gay music that you lames seem to like
      keep a real brother like dilla’s name out ya mouth you fuckin punk

  • Four5

    I think I understand where Meka is coming from. There is a shitload of posers pretending to be up on Dilla when he was here when truthfully they weren’t. I do remember Dilla getting blamed for ATCQ breakup and I don’t remember him being lauded and praised for his work when he was around. Then again he was ahead of his time and only now people understand how dope Dilla was. I don’t think he is better than Premier but he is pretty great and infuencial.

  • http://blogwritercrimefighter.blogspot.com/ Chris Scorpio

    music changed my life, Dilla Changed Your T Shirt – Pack FM

    thats the bottom line right there and as for the fans I really dont expect them to know the beat cause most of the fans are 16 year olds who dont even know who are the people he raps about on the song I bet they think they’re part of his entourage

  • ri067953

    Jesus Christ, this song came out 10 or so years ago? Cut people some slack man. This dude will make assumptions about anything.

  • Anonymous

    RIP J. Dilla, Fuck Meka.

    • RATED-X

      HELL YEAH….FUCK THIS NYIKKA (he aint important) !!!!!!! watch what u say youngen!!!!!

  • dustycrates

    this is the funniest article i ever read.

    Dilla and Madlib are light years ahead of the game.


    i dont agree with u dude!!!!!!!!! most of us (ol’ skool catz) have been following Dilla for a very long time and appreciate what he brought to the table…….

    y must peeps feel the need to have funny (degrading) comments about a guy whose life was to stay fresh in this industry. I BET U FEEL NEW MONEY YOUNGENS….LOL!!!!!!


    bye the wy….u forgot majita like COMMON, DE LA SOUL and many more…..bye the way…HE is the father of NEO SOUL.

    the internet is not new (please believe)…….

  • Bogodile aka Boogie

    I think Meka wrote this thing just to piss everybody and thats not cool @ all :(
    You love hiphop dude and you know how GREAT Dilla is. He may be famous after his death, but people listen to tracks like “Who-ahh” by Busta or that joint by Janet and Q-Tip “Got till its gone” and they go like “That was Dilla??”
    The man didnt want to be famous, he wanted to just make music…. Look at groups like The Roots with “You got me”, thats a classic Dilla track and ppl didnt know that AND HE DIDNT CARE. The Roots got a grammy award for that song and Dilla was in his basement making more music instead of going to the grammys :)
    Please respect the MAN and dont mess up with his LEGACY cause there’ll never be somebody who loved music like he did :)
    PEACE to James Yancey aka Dilla Dawg!!!

  • http://whyilovebk.com Gregory Malcolm

    First off, J Dilla moniker came about not because of a confrontation from Jermain Dupree. It came because James wanted to avoid one. Even though he was a performer, he would not jump into a spot light. He liked to fly under the radar. If he was half as cocky as some of these no talent artist, you probably would have never even thought to write such an article.
    Second, the music you hear is just an aspect of his work as a producer. There is a reason why Kanye and Common (who was also his roommate at one point) loved to work with him. He not only made music for you, he would TEACH you how he did it. If his career spand the length of Primo or RZA (who are both incredible producers), then I could see a point to your statement. But he barely enjoyed 10 years in the game. I wish I could tell you what Primo said about Dilla to his mother but I think it would be lost on you.
    One more point I want to make. Do you realize he stopped a few people from walking away from the music industry and getting day jobs? We would only have two Roots albums if Amp Fiddler had not introduced him to Q-Tip. ?uestlove was ready to shave and put on a suit in ’96. Not only has he had a profound impact on music lovers for his compositions, but he has inspired so many artist to push the bar a little higher with there own work.
    It is these reasons (and I still have more) that I say without hesitation that he is one of the best MUSIC (not just hip-hop) producer of all time.

  • http://create2destroy.com c-sick

    I didn’t realize XXL was still around. I guess they are on death’s bed if they are relying on shit like this to drive traffic

  • http://www.myspace.com/clintpartie Clint Partie

    Just for the record, Jay Dee didn’t produce “You Got Me” or “Who-hah.” He produced a few others from the albums that these songs are off of, though. Also, his music encompassed a lot more than just hip-hop. As someone stated above, he basically created the whole sound of the “neo-soul” movement and culture or whatever you wanna call it.

  • igotsoul2

    Meka loses a lot of credibility in my book for this shit. Anybody who really has peeped hip-hop (and soul, electronic, experimental beats, etc.) production’s development over the past decade understands the fact that Dilla has been the father of so many styles, directly or indirectly. Dilla took the music to another dimension rhythmically, always made his beats bang, and no-one to this days can fuck with his drums!

    Are there dudes who annoying jock Dilla despite not peeping his shit when he was alive, yes, but at least the man get some much deserved love now!

  • http://ignantwitted.com rek

    I mean, who doesn’t get annoyed when some art school bitches try to “put you on” to Dilla… but don’t try to discredit his skill and unique style of production. You know a lot of producers weren’t making the same music after hearing a Dilla track…

  • Folabi

    These are the Stans that Meka was talking about. Just cause he said that he did not like J Dilla, which i guess some of you believe that he hates hip hop for that, and he said that most dilla fans don’t know shit about dilla….y’all go and say Fuck you Meka. SMH. Dilla Stans are faggots

  • Cents

    @Folabi so unnecessary. You came in aid of a man who dug his own grave and then you have the nerve to call Dilla supporters “faggots.” What is this high school? Dude grow up. I can agree that some of the comments are a bit over the top, because he has a point about people who haven’t known the man’s body of work, but everyone is new to something and if it’s good, then people will try to consume as much of it as possible- unfortunately “some” do not take the time out to do the research.

    As far as Meka- he brought this on himself. He hyped up his watered down article about Dilla by using an over the top headline, like the majority of the media nowadays. Then he starts bashing a man he never knew based on HIS knowledge of hip hop production. That’s the problem with some of these so called “journalists”- They don’t take the time out to be subjective and thorough with their statements. The majority of them now just give their own opinion and have no remorse in what they write.

    Unfortunately Meka doesn’t realize that his words are stronger than he thinks. Hopefully he’ll realize now after all of the bullsh*t that has hit the fan, that he’ll have to take his time and proofread. Once you publish an article you cannot come back from whatever you write. We’re all hip hop heads in here- that’s the only reason why we can take the time out of our busy schedules to respond, because we give a f*ck. Instead of talking sh*t, let’s all agree to disagree and move on to the next topic.

    • Folabi


      Exactly he NEVER BASHED dilla in this article. Thats really all i gotta say cause you misinterpreted his article. Plain and simple.

  • Folabi


    Exactly he NEVER BASHED dilla in this article. Thats really all i gotta say cause you misinterpreted his article. Plain and simple.

  • @Folabi

    He compared Dilla to a f*ckin McRib sandwich lol. If he wasn’t trying to bash Dilla, he did a really bad job at it. Again, words are powerful and if you’re not thorough with your statements, you will be misinterpreted. You can’t misinterpret “Dilla Stans are faggots” though.

  • Cents

    @ Folabi He compared Dilla to a f*ckin McRib sandwich lol. If he wasn’t trying to bash Dilla, he did a really bad job at it. Again, words are powerful and if you’re not thorough with your statements, you will be misinterpreted. You can’t misinterpret “Dilla Stans are faggots” though.

  • Folabi


    And if you read the rest of that paragraph, you will see that he was talking about those who have know idea about his past catalog.

    Dude i am a j dilla fan myself but im not a stan or a fake fan like most of his fans are.

  • Cents

    @Folabi Yo I’m a Dilla fan as well, but I can’t differentiate who is “real” and who isn’t. Anyone can recite someone’s catalogue/features. I think you’re missing my point though. A lot of these guys are furious, because you can’t sum up all of what Meka was trying to say in a short article, without offending a few people. I’m disappointed that Meka used that headline and didn’t follow through. He’s a man at the end of the day like all of us and we all make mistakes, but in journalism there’s no room for open ended statements, because they will be misinterpreted. That’s all I’m saying. I think it’s bad that they started that “Fuck Meka” campaign, because it’s unnecessary and juvenile, but fans will be emotional and irate at times. Sh*t I wish people could be up and arms, like this, about shit that really matters.

  • Folabi


    Thats the problem they need to calm down and listen and understand what he is saying without misinterpreting like a real person should

  • Folabi

    And i know its not about reciting their catalog but about appreciating it which was these “fans” lack

  • Cents

    @Folabi I can dig it, but everyone’s on edge nowadays, because the music that should get respected and viewed by the world, isn’t and to some extent, I like it that way. It filters out the consumer from the die hard fan, but at the same time, a lot of kids are digging the sh*t that’s on the radio and tv and a lot of them are trying to emulate it.

  • jack

    I first heard a dilla production in 2002 when i heard slum villages “players” (which was made in 97). But now i see most people dick riding him as one of the greatest ever, and what sickens me is how they say Donuts is his greatest album, while they also say that they don’t know slum village is…SMDH.

    I dont classify dilla in the top 5, maybe top 10, but people need to stop repping an artist after he dies rather than before (when he is making music).

  • ff1one@yahoo.com

    Dilla is dope BUT death does immortalize a lot of people….especially anyone in hip hop. In addition, your work should also live beyond your physical death. Therefore, these words are on point. More importanly don’t wait to jump on the bandwagon of the next great after her/she dies.

  • Dert

    Never read this dude before, but his post is sort of pointless. Dilla’s gone, he don’t care what people think.
    RIP Dilla

  • http://grandrapidshiphop.ning.com Governor Slugwell

    RIP J. Dilla, Fuck Meka.

  • Sloth

    As mentioned earlier, I was one of those “Dilla fans before I knew the name”. I think that was with every producer back then tho due to the lack of technology. You didn’t have the face to match the beats so a lot of producers go unknown until they score with several mainstream artist [9th wonder says it best in one of his interviews]. He has a pretty good catalogue [to me at least] and I’m pretty sure everyone has heard his works [early to mid 90's babies and 80's babies for sure lol]. Shouts out to Premier and PR because they’re the reasons there was a Dilla. Dilla even says that Pete Rock was one of his biggest inspirations and that he wanted to be like him but to not classify him in the league of the PR’s and Premier’s is absurd. Dilla was as much in the mainstraim as he was underground. I think you actually have to get into the producing aspect to see what a “genius” this guy was and truly respect him for his craft. For the ordinary person who just “listens” to music wouldn’t be able to comprehend his abilities as a producer. And I totally agree that there are people that dickride and are just joining the bandwagon and don’t even go into all his works . But to bash the actual fans for praising his craft is just wrong man. I hope after reading all these responses, you’ll go back and take the time to listen to all the contributions he’s made to Hip-Hop. till then peace!

  • http://myspace.com/alianzameka jose polanco

    Yikes,the worst part of all this is that I am part of a dominican hip-hop band called alianza Meka,(definitely no relation here).Of course,there are bandwagon fans everywhere,and I even had a similar discussion to this one with a dilla fan about two weeks ago,but to take merits off of him after death is vile at the very least,and the piece in itself lacks coherency.I have never heard of anyone mistaking dilla with dupri,and drake fans probably don’t know who Nas is.Again,weak,weak points.Meka,please,change that moniker so we can evade bad vibes.peace.

  • Floyd

    They pay you to write this shit?? If I thought you would actually reply I would tell you exactly what the fuck is wrong with just about everything you’ve said. Shake is way better.

  • Chris

    Completely biased view at it…. So you’re saying new generations can’t enjoy/respect what he did? The majority of the time, people preach about artists they love.. I can see that being normal with Dilla.. Why make Dilla out to be more than great music, I could elaborate, but fuck this is exactly what’s wrong with hiphop

  • RENE Gonzalez

    Amen BROther

  • Ghetto GODfather

    You opinion is strictly YOUR opinion, and I can give you credit in being honest in your own criticism. Unlike the many bandwagon fans out there, I’ve been following Jay Dee’s career since 1996 and the 5-Elementz YESTERYEAR ep I purchased from the Maurice Malone Hip Hop Shop. Of ANY producer I’ve listened to or was force-fed between 1996 and 2011, Dilla is the only producer that I NEVER get tired of listening to. He constantly kept reinventing himself, where other producers built a formula & stuck by it. To me, that’s effin’ boring!! Dilla’s music can make you feel a wide range of emotions, sometimes at the same time. Cats who rhymed over his music sounded 10x better than they normally would. Who on earth can duplicate what he’s done? Kanye is the closest to him right now, and compared to Dilla, he sounds like bullsh*t (my opinion, because I do like Kanye’s music).

    And as for the “new” fans, I definitely welcome them, because even after death, they are seeing the genius that I’ve seen for the past 15 years. All in all, they will be talking about this man’s art for many decades to come, showing that hip-hop doesn’t have to be a disposable art form that XXL MAGAZINE portrays it to be.

    For you to even write this b.s. article, I wonder what beef could you possibly have with a man who XXL has blacklisted from its pages for all of these years….Something on your mind?