When the late great J. Dilla left his legacy of timeless instrumental beats that seemed to be every aspiring hiphop/electronic producer’s go-to pitstop, it became no small feat to go through a massive collection of remixes and tributes that litter music streaming sites such as SoundCloud. On J. Dilla’s 40th birthday alone, my feed was bombarded by everything #jdilla. One that stood out in particular was a track released by Deeper Manila Records’ honcho, Justin De Guzman. Known for his aptitude in creating and curating house music and hiphop mixes, both for his personal sets and free Deeper Manila podcasts on iTunes, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the genius of J. Dilla echoes in his style and technique.
In his tribute, “Dilla Fly With Me”, he used that inspiration liberally. Alternating between midtempo and slow-paced smooth R&B samples and hiphop drumbeats, anyone who’s not familiar with Dilla’s Donuts or The Shining, among others, might as well get themselves acquainted. Moreover, it displays the prowess of Justin De Guzman in conceptualizing a sought-after figure that doesn’t come off as tired, lazy, or amateurish. After all, J. Dilla himself was neither.