J Dilla and Nas
Dillmatic


2.0
poor

Review

by Bulldog USER (114 Reviews)
April 26th, 2010 | 99 replies | 9,196 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Disappointments lurk around every corner.

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

In the real world, two musical legends rarely ever collaborate with one another. So, hobbyists with nothing but time on their hands digitally rehash a pair of acclaimed pieces in order to satiate the masses and possibly gain reverance in the meantime. Often, this results in a not-so-satisfying, sloppy biproduct that falls far from the expectations the hype managed to generate. In hip-hop, this is a common practice; especially recently, where genre crossovers are relatively prevalent. So, when I witnessed an unofficial e-collaboration featuring work from New York street-hop legend Nas and deceased Detroit superproducer J Dilla titled Dillmatic, I couldn't help it. I bit on the bait. That was a mistake. It was a nearly instant disappointment. A foreboding indication of the abundance of letdowns, Dillmatic is not even a complete fusion of Jay Dee's final pre-humous album, 2006 instrumental hip-hop classic Donuts and Nas's 1994 rap essential Illmatic.

It's not that the concept of welding J Dilla beats and Nas vocals is farfetched or unmanageable. Jay Dee's clear soundscapes crafted with clomping drums, reverberating electronics, and smooth soul samples would seem to be a good fit for Nas's swift, back-of-throat delivery and distinctive style of street lore. It's that whoever did this project conducted this experiment in the worst way possible. Obviously ill-equipped to cut, splice, and combine multiple tracks, Squeek Boogie creates uncomfortable and conflicting tempos. On "One Love" - a track that was already successfully (unofficially) remixed by an MF Doom cut - the buzzing bass line, hissing percussion, and serene synths outpace Nas's flow by a tiny bit that is just enough to make the track feel awkward; and on "Nas Is Like," Nas pushes the pace a bit too fast for the array of electronics and windy soul loop to keep up with. On top of that, Squeek Boogie doesn't even pick the creme of the crop. For example, two of my favorite Dilla productions, "Lightworks" and "Raise It Up," don't appear, and new-era Nas songs like "Made You Look (Remix)" featuring Ludacris and Jadakiss and "Classic" featuring Kanye West and KRS-One are chosen over classics from his debut like "Memory Lane" and "N.Y. State of Mind."

That's not to say this compilation doesn't have its moments. "It Ain't Hard To Tell" is a fun song that features a beat with a downplayed bounce and one of Nas's lighter moods yet, and the Arabian beat and Nas's swaggering, serious tone compliment one another perfectly on "Made You Look (Remix)." Not coincidentally, both of the aforementioned tracks are synced flawlessly together.

Essentially, Dillmatic suffers from poor execution, not a poor concept. If Nas and J Dilla had ever collaborated while the latter was still living, their record would have amountd to way more than this did. Heck, if a more able DJ had tried his hand at this, it would have amounted to more than this. With a 1:3 good-to-bad track ratio, this was exceedingly disappointing.

R.I.P James Dewitt Yancey (February 7th, 1974 - February 10th, 2006)



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user ratings (1)
2
poor

Comments:Add a Comment 
Bulldog
April 26th 2010



3796 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0



discuss.

HeavyB
April 26th 2010



177 Comments


Definitely agree with your rating. Donuts this isn't.

Bulldog
April 26th 2010



3796 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

i was pretty disappointed. mashups usually aren't very good. but i listened to an awesome remix/genre crossover awhile back that was cool, so i gave this a chance. wasnt such a great idea.

also, unbolded jadakiss, luda, and kanye. that was ugly/distracting.

illmitch
April 26th 2010



5429 Comments


if it's not illmatic or stillmatic I don't want it.


this

HeavyB
April 26th 2010



177 Comments


It Was Written was decent. I Gave You Power is pretty sweet.

Bulldog
April 26th 2010



3796 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I think we can all agree nothing will ever top Illmatic, though.

HeavyB
April 26th 2010



177 Comments


No question about that Bulldog. Few hip hop albums have in my opinion.

cirq
April 26th 2010



9257 Comments


review Das Racist!

Bulldog
April 26th 2010



3796 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Yea, I'd agree about that too, in all likelihood.

I have Illmatic as a 4.5 and Donuts as a 4.

HeavyB
April 26th 2010



177 Comments


He needs to get back with Large Pro, Pete Rock, and Preemo for another album. His beat selections can be pretty weak at times.

qwe3
April 26th 2010



21154 Comments


true that. untitled could have been so much better with decent beats

Bulldog
April 26th 2010



3796 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Yea, I agree. The production on Illmatic is so epic, I don't know why he'd even want to consider picking anything of a lesser quality.

HeavyB
April 26th 2010



177 Comments


No doubt. I was actually a little excited for that album too. I thought the mixtape was quite a bit better than the actual album.

Bulldog
April 26th 2010



3796 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

God knows when he's dropping his next album. Kelis just fucked his brains out in court.

qwe3
April 26th 2010



21154 Comments


the "it ain't hard to tell" remix looks cool. maybe coz that's my fav rap song ever though.

HeavyB
April 26th 2010



177 Comments


That album with Damian Marley is supposed to come out on May 18th. I thought As I Enter was a decent track so I will probably pick it up.

Bulldog
April 26th 2010



3796 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

If anybody happens wants this, here's the copy I reviewed (I think there might have been multiple half-assed attempts at mixing the two.)

http://www.mixtapetorrent.com/squeek-boogie-j-dilla-nas-dillmatic#attachments

EDIT: Oh yea, the Damian Marley collaboration album. Totally forgot about that. But it has been postponed once or twice, I believe.



HeavyB
April 26th 2010



177 Comments


It sure has and I would not be at all surprised if that trend continued. Seems to be the rule and not the exception in rap music.

HeavyB
April 26th 2010



177 Comments


I thought God's Son was pretty good. Made You Look is the shit. Kudos to you for recognizing that I Can is garbage also. I feel the exact same way.

Bulldog
April 26th 2010



3796 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I was thinking this

or just never get married.


As you were saying this.

moral of the story is don't get married to a girl who makes shit songs with a shit voice....


But yea, I hate Kelis.



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