These days I approach anything that references the late J Dilla with caution. Don’t get me wrong, the albums he worked on and also his instrumental works provided the soundtrack for the early part of many of our lives.
It’s hard for me to imagine my high school years without thinking about the days I found Slum Village’s Fantastic Vol. 2, ATCQ’s The Love Movement or Common’s For Water Like Chocolate in the local music store. Thus one can be a little picky when looking at all the various tribute projects. You’re not just looking at the beatmaker’s work, but you’re also deciding if they have paid proper tribute to a legend.
Now that I’ve thoroughly dated myself as an ancient person: Millennium Jazz‘s Dilla tape Ruff Graft is one of the few homage tapes that I feel does a really nice job on touching on the works of Dilla. It’s simple, airy and does a nice job of highlighting the sample selections. Much in the same way as Dilla presented his music. Despite the variety of producers, they manage to keep the Dilla bump present on every track.