Review Summary: We say "Ain't no Dilla like the one I got"/(No one can do shit better)/His beats held the DNA of hip-hop
In the past few years, I’ve grown pretty attached to TenDJiz’s mashup De La Soulviet, which pairs classic verses from the Plug trio with jazz music from the Soviet Union. It’s because of this album that my waning interest in De La Soul was renewed, for, after a more than a decade of stagnant releases from the group itself, I had something to breathe life into their classic material as well as some of the more recent stuff which, on its own merits, was blasé at best.
It’s been a few years since De La Soulviet, but I’m content, because De La Soul did one of those BitTorrent things, and now the world has been introduced to Smell The DA.I.S.Y.
, a new tape full of vibrant material produced entirely by the late, great, and completely irreplaceable J Dilla. There’s a reason why I chose a quote from “Goes With The Word,” De La Soul’s tribute to Dilla on this tape, as the summary for this review. “We say ‘Ain’t no Dilla like the one I got'/(No one can do shit better)/His beats held the DNA of hip-hop/And kept it hot like a thermal sweater/You can’t duplicate it, so just leave it alone/Nah, you can’t duplicate the sound boy/He had the universe’s sound, but the D was his home (Motown)"- I thoroughly believe this to be one of the most powerful and impactful sets of rap lyrics I’ve come across in years. It’s unfortunate that on livemixtapes, a popular hip-hop mixtape hosting site that determines popularity of releases by points garnered by up or down voting, while the latest Young Thug tape easily breaks into the thousands, I can’t even say for sure Smell The DA.I.S.Y.
has even broken one hundred. Not hatin’ on Thug, even if he is the jackass
in Guwop’s stable (obligatory Free Gucci plug [haha get it, “plug”]).
As for the rest of the tape, it’s smoov as hell, to put it simply. Posdnous, expectedly, has most of the attention-grabbing bars, but Dave and Maseo both hold it down with the poise and finesse of veteran craftsman, innovators in their trade. The production is fabulous- my cousin Paul said, upon hearing this for the first time, “J’s beats off the bench are better than most producers’ first-stringers.” It’s a true statement. There are tough-as-nails bass-driven rompers like “Vocabulary Spills,” relaxing jazz-hop, and even a foray into the experimental on the last two tracks (the Marvin Jaye mashup is righteous). Honestly, though, if you weren’t already hooked by the idea of hearing fresh Dilla beats, this isn’t for you.