The 20 Best J Dilla Beats

The 20 Best J Dilla Beats

J DillaJames “J Dilla” Yancey would be celebrating his 39th birthday today had he not tragically passed away on Feb. 10, 2006 due to complications related to Lupus. The proud Detroit native remains one of the most talented and versatile artists of our time, as he showcased his abilities to rap, sing, DJ, compose, and play multiple instruments over his legendary career.

Today, on his birthday, we’re taking a look back at 20 of our favorite Dilla beats of all time. Making this list was extremely difficult, to say the least. Among our team, we continued to throw out track after track in attempt to narrow a list down to 20, when we could have easily pushed it to 50 or even 100. We really wanted to show off his aforementioned versatility, which led Dilla to work with artists both within and well outside of his tightly knit circle.

In the coming weeks, we plan on putting together more tributes to Dilla, including a highlight of his remixes, how one of our writers came to truly appreciate his music, and much more. But for now, raise it up and enjoy 20 of his finest productions.

Navigate through the pages below.

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  1. Ruhao Xia
    Feb 24, 2014 @ 03:17:00

    Nothing like this sampled Dave Mason You Can’t Take It When You Go. Most craziest flip I’ve ever heard.

  2. slsjkss
    Nov 22, 2013 @ 11:12:00

    is it late?
    Concrete Rose -> Grannie (on ‘The Vintage’)
    Ode to Dilla -> Kamaal (also on ‘The Vintage’)

  3. David Reyneke
    Feb 07, 2013 @ 21:44:00

    And obviously you either have no idea what you’re talking about, or you’re illiterate.

    “Gobstopper” – Donuts
    “Rico Suave Bossa Nova” – Welcome 2 Detroit

  4. McNulty
    Feb 07, 2013 @ 20:16:00

    Ok, I need yalls help figuring out where a certain Dilla beat is from. Where is the original beat from the song “Concrete Rose”, track 4, from ScienZe’s “Ode to Dilla.”? This search has driven me nuts. You can listen to the beat on the following link. Please help. http://scienze.bandcamp.com/album/ode-2-dilla

  5. Marley.M
    Feb 07, 2013 @ 20:08:00

    So Many more tracks that shit all over these. Not one from Donuts (made on his death bed) not one from Welcome to Detroit. Given that you post Rick Ross’ info on this site shows your Hip-Hop interests. Whacksters

  6. DillaFan
    Feb 07, 2013 @ 19:43:00

    Mans Dope Dope Dope…..not tryina take any light away But Nujabes also had a birthday on 7th of Feb!

  7. Shane
    Feb 07, 2013 @ 14:36:00

    Great list! And I agree…this list could’ve been morphed into something larger. There’s so many classic Dilla beats!

  8. Ix AP xI
    Feb 07, 2013 @ 12:07:00

    Easily my favorite Dilla beat is “Hey Hey Hey Heyyy” from that Jay Elect track and Fire Wood Drumstix off Jay Stay Paid..I could listen to that for days.

  9. deinemudda
    Feb 07, 2013 @ 10:01:00

    MF DOOM – Gazzillion Ear (Phantom of the Synths/Dig It)

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