J. Dilla - The Shining  
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written by Dale Coachman    
Michael Jordan didn't leave on top, who knows what will happen with the comeback of Jay-Z we all hope he doesn't do a MJ. Artists really don't seem, to retire they more or less just stop making music. Big Daddy Kane and Rakim are still performing to this day. Jay Dee lately to be called J. Dilla definitely entered and left hip-hop the way most people would want to have and leave a career in any occupation. From Slum Village, Common, De La Soul, Madlib, Janet Jackson, A Tribe Called Quest and the countless other number of artists he's worked with, Dilla left his mark on hip-hop. Suffering from Lupus Disease, Dilla basically passed away making this album and yes as the saying goes he has changed my life and I'm sure the lives of many others.

The Shining which was this triple threat's last album left me and I'm sure a slew of others with a tear because this was the last of Dilla. There will be know Pac or Biggie like albums that will continuously come out years later after his passing. This is it. With the traditional animated intro from Busta Rhymes, Dilla does his impression of the Bumblebee which would make the band leader of Drumline fall to his knees.

J. Dilla unfortunately as all men do in their thirties hit his prime with one of his most fluid albums. With features from Common who seem to rise to the challenge of the beat meshed an old school flow with present day content. Pharoah Monche reminded us of how important Love is needed in this present day society as Cornel West coined it "loveless society". Dilla then dug in the crates with his classic production with the track Baby, featuring Guilty Simpson and Madlib. So Far So Good, which brings the melting of Common and the long awaited resurrection of D'Angelo, this is definitely the make up to break up track. The Detroit native then goes on a tangent with Jungle Love, with guest appearances by MED and Guilty Simpson. This is not to say the joint was bad, but maybe it didn't belong on this album. Over the Breaks takes you back to Planet Rock and shell toes, straight up b-boy and b-girl music and everything that was immersed in the reasons hip-hop was created. Body Movin is the 06 version of Beat Street, the line where she asks him, "What are you doing?" and he says, "It's kind of hard to explain."

The super producer also had a knack for beat-making that resonated with his identity and sound but sounded like it was made for that particular artist and that's what happened on Dime Piece featuring Dwele and Love Movin with a cameo from Black Thought. When Won't Do begins all you can do is cry. From the lyricism to the melodic yet hard signature procession sound, Dilla brings it all in with this track. "See it's 2 freaks the wife and the boss had all three of them liking it raw pimp put on weight from fightin em off in the mall you see it and like it its yours that's a nice fit you ain't got to price shit I pays for it like them mics in the source."

All though oxymoronic to say that he went out on top knowing that if he had his choice he probably would still be alive making music forever. I think he understood this music was bigger than him. He truly connected to hip-hop heads all over the world and did change people's thought process before they even go into the studio. Dilla took us back to the basement and was known for staying there for days on end but with this album their couldn't have been a better title even though it was based from the Jack Nicholson horror flic Dilla clearly had The Shining. Pharrell and Kanye say they see colors during their beat production, who knows what Dilla saw but we are blessed that he shared it with the world.

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