10 Key J Dilla Beats

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  • A Tribe Called Quest, J Dilla
  • Janet Jackson, Q-Tip, J Dilla
  • Slum Village, J Dilla
  • Common, J Dilla, Questlove, D'Angelo, Erykah Badu
  • J Dilla, Dwele
  • J Dilla
  • Busta Rhymes, J Dilla
  • J Dilla
  • J Dilla, Jay Dee
  • The Pharcyde, J Dilla
  • De La Soul, J Dilla

Slum Village, "Players"

Fast forward to "Players" — perhaps the finest cut from Slum Village, Dilla's Detroit crew — to hear Dilla's late-'90s sound at its apex. The production is simply on another level: There's the ingenious sample from The Singer Unlimited's "Clair" (the haunting refrain that sounds like "Players"), and Dilla's barely-there bass — warmer and deeper than ever. His trademark hand-clap snares and hi-hats, smartly lifted from "Rapper's Delight," featured a sloppy, drunken swing that had a game-changing influence on the Roots' Questlove, as heard on D'Angelo's Voodoo, and countless other producers and drummers to follow. 

(Photo: Delicious Vinyl)

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