I don’t want to turn up all the damn time. Give me some relaxing Hip-Hop at work or at my leisure and I’m good. Thankfully House Shoes sees the struggle and comes through with “The Gift:” his series which highlights producers rap folks ought to know. Except, this time, a collection of early J Dilla records bless our ears with sought after remixes. D’Angelo, De La Soul and Busta Rhymes among other artists get done up in Jay’s initial sound in a half-hour’s worth of jams damaging to the neck.
I’ve heard a few of these remixes on various compilations, podcasts and other releases over the years. Having them all in one place is as convenient as it’s dope. These tracks hail back from 1997 so everything here’s a product of the time.
Electronic piano chords maintain an expressive, soulful theme on nearly every song. Samples and basslines contribute like dependable role players while kicks thump with a bounce fit for the whip.
There’s a interesting backstory behind ‘The Gift’ as told by Shoes. J Dilla made all these remixes after labels requested them. Then the same companies passed on making them official releases. Shoes didn’t want these gems to go unheard. So he called the right people, including Peanut Butter Wolf and put the record out on limited runs.
The album’s obviously out of stock. However, Shoes let the homeys stream it on Soundcloud. That’s pretty awesome of him since this work’s certainly good enough for a trip to retail.
Shoes also hosted a remix competition calling producers to flip “Electric Piano Solo” from this project. The winner gets the right to say he/she’s better than the rest of the internet at beatmaking according to Shoes. The submission process ended today* but keep your eyes peeled at Shoes’ twitter account for winners. Heavyweights like Mr. Dibia$e and Freddie Joachim entered so you know the field’s full of high-grade flips.**
update* – This post originally had an incorrect submission deadline, sorry for the confusion.
update** – Now you can hear all the flips on House Shoes’ site right here.