On Friday, July 10th magic was made at the Howard Theatre. An amazing group of artists gathered to celebrate the music and life of legendary producer, J. Dilla. James Yancey aka J.Dilla was best known as a member of Slum Village and A Tribe Called Quest‘s production team, The Ummah, creating beats with funky drum snares, infusing them with rare samples and weaving them into timeless classic hits for artists like The Roots, Busta Rhymes, De La Soul, The Pharcyde and countless others. DC Loves Dilla 10 assembled and all star cast featuring local favorites, Awthentik, Ra the MC, Deborah Bond, Wes Felton and Alison Carney performing alongside with J*Davey, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Slum Village, Common and a surprise performance by Musiq Soulchild.
Leading the night’s festivities was Grap Luva, the animated host, who was also a member in 90’s hip-hop group InI– led the opening of the show with a moment of silence which rolled into The Players dropping a band mash up of some Dilla favorites.
A few of the shows highlights were Awthentik’s performance of “Crushin”. Kacey from Black Alley performed Pharcyde’s “Runnin” and Ra the MC’s rendition of the Roots “Dynamite”, donned in a leggings, denim shirt and a dope felt Pharrell inspired hat. Alison Carney stepped from the background to the forefront to eloquently perform “Stop”. While Deborah Bond made N’Dea Davenport’s “Bullshittin” her own, and W. Ellington Felton gave us an epic performance of “Breathe and Stop”
The crowd lost it when J*Davey hit the stage and performed “Red Light”. Detroit’s own Slum Village rocked a nice long set that included, “Fall In Love”, “I Don’t Know”, “Get this Money” and “Push It Along”. Grap Luva kept the energy going between the crowd, performers and The Players, the 20 something piece band, featuring Jon Laine and Dennis Turner. But when Musiq Soulchild made his way to the stage the crowd loved the mash up of “Buddy” mixed with “Stakes Is High”.
Closing out the show was Chicago native Common. Even though he performed an abbreviated set, he had the audience rocking and rhyming word for word. Common gave us a show to remember to honor his friend/producer, J. Dilla. Can’t wait to see what HedRush has planned for the 11th annual DC Loves Dilla.