J Dilla at 38: Celebrating a producer's work through 'Lightworks'
The hip-hop producer born James Dewitt Yancey would have celebrated his 38th birthday on Tuesday, and with each passing year since his death in 2006 at age 32, the status of the artist better known as J Dilla rises. Though he was best known for his work with Common, A Tribe Called Quest, Erykah Badu and Madlib, among dozens of others, one of Dilla's most accomplished works comes via the idiosyncratic use of the Raymond Scott composition "Lightworks," originally an ad for an electric company, to create a masterful rhythm track.
While perusing the Web for a sample of "Lightworks," I stumbled across this animated clip that captures the essence of the track.
Want to hear more? Check out his collection, "The Shining," which focuses on some of his more commercial work, or "Donuts," featuring amazing miniatures that constitute some of the most visionary hip-hop production ever to hit the hard drive.
-- Randall Roberts
Photo: J Dilla. Credit: Stones Throw Records