J Dilla ‘The Shining’ 10th Anniversary

Release date: 22nd August 2006

Label: BBE
Producers: J Dilla

Profile (courtesy of Wikipedia):

“The Shining is the third studio album by album by Americanhip hop recording artistJ Dilla, who died February 10, 2006. The Shining was incomplete at the time of J Dilla’s passing and was posthumously completed. Discounting the instrumental album Donuts, The Shining was the first full-length solo release by J Dilla (featuring vocals) since Welcome 2 Detroit five years earlier, and as such was highly anticipated. It was released on August 22, 2006 through BBE Records. An instrumental version of the album followed its release shortly afterward.

In the works for many years under working titles such as the rumored Welcome 2 LA, Dilla’s manager, Tim Maynor, said in November 2005 that The Shining would come out in February 2006 on BBE and that the Dilla self-titled album would follow in the same year. As the album was ultimately only 75% complete at the time of J Dilla’s passing, his friend and fellow Detroit hip-hop artist Karriem Riggins was entrusted by Dilla’s mother for the completion and handling of the record. Riggins himself has indicated that there will be further future releases of Dilla’s music in the coming years, stating that “all of his music needs to be heard”.

A few of the tracks on The Shining are vocal versions of previously heard material such as “So Far to Go” (Donuts track “Bye” revamped and extended to serve as an intended remix to Common’s “Go!”). This song was originally to be released by Common during the last quarter of 2005, as part of a Be special edition package. In 2007, an alternate version of “So Far to Go” containing new verses and a new mix was released on Common’s Finding Forever album.

Dilla features some of his past collaborators, such as the aforementioned Common on two songs, Busta Rhymes, D’Angelo, Madlib, and Black Thought on the LP. The closing track, “Won’t Do”, is the only song to feature Dilla rhyming by himself. He does however also rhyme on “Baby” together with Madlib and Guilty Simpson and provide the chorus for “E=Mc2”. “Won’t Do” was also issued as a single (as The Shining EP2), accompanied by a video that premiered on December 12, 2006. The video included appearances by Common, Slum Village, will.i.am, Frank-N-Dank, Karriem Riggins, Black Thought, Talib Kweli, and J Dilla’s younger brother, John Yancey (aka Illa J).

A promo single called “Love”, featuring Pharoahe Monch, was leaked onto the internet in February 2006, days after J.Dilla’s death. Plans for the album’s retail release was accelerated and scheduled for April 2006. Video Producer/Director Brian “B.Kyle” Atkins of Okayplayer Films [14] was in the process of putting together a production consisting of exclusive footage he had shot with J.Dilla… a project which the label heard about and wanted as a bonus DVD to accompany each retail copy of the album. Eventually, however, it was decided to release the two separately. In honor of J.Dilla, Brian “B.Kyle” Atkins created the production entitled J.Dilla: Still Shining, which was made available to J.Dilla fans online, for free, at www.TheJDillaProject.com and YouTube. The album received generally positive reviews and debuted at #103 in its first week of release according to Billboard. An instrumental version of the album soon followed.

The advance copy of the album contains samples from The Shining over the tracks to prevent sharing. These samples are not in the retail version but the advance copy is available on the internet, leading many to believe that the samples are part of the album.”

Additional info:

- Tracks from the album appear on Chris Read’s 2010 BBE Label retospective mixtape.

Listen: Youtube / Spotify

Purchase: Original album via Discogs / 10th Anniversary 7” Boxset re-issue via BBE Records

Classic Material