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Happy Birthday J Dilla! Love, Karriem Riggins and Yours Truly

j dilla birthday karriem riggins stones throw the greatest video yours truly

Toro Y Moi may be the most inspired J Dilla disciple around, but the fellas at Los Angeles indie rap label Stones Throw — the rap game Sub Pop, if you will — have an intimate knowledge of the deceased legend’s contributions to music. His final statement, the dense and death-defying Donuts (which landed in the Animal Collective Centipedia) was released by So Cal’s finest hip-hop imprint. Today would’ve been the legendary producer’s 39th birthday, so in honor of that milestone ST mainstay Karriem Riggins, another Detroit to L.A. transplant and a close friend to Dilla before he passed, has recorded a lovely tribute with help from video gurus Yours Truly. “J Dilla the Greatest” has a simple title, but it’s also a simple song: a brief bit of unabashed musical praise that finds Riggins layering jazz drums, wobbly keys, and a pensive but pretty sample that he explains was used by Jay Dee on Slum Village’s “Fat Cat Song.” While this version of the song was recorded for the camera at Iron Works Studios in Eagle Rock (watch for cameos from Peanut Butter Wolf and J. Rocc) the original can be found on Riggins’ Stones Throw debut, Alone Together.