Dilla dawg, I had a dream about you fam
Its 2005, we in the same hospital room
You on one side, I'm on the other
I'm stressed out, but what gave motivation was you pullin' out that MP
And bangin out some bangers as usual
Nothin' ever phased you fam, and for that, I miss you
D-Town throw it up
NYC throw it up
The whole world throw it up
[Verse 1: Phife]
Hold tight, this ain't the last time I see you
Due time, that's my word imma see you
Frontin ass rappers now here stealin' intros
Posin like they hard when we know they all see through
Imma tell you Dilla why they lackin skills now
No stage presence, cadence, style
They livin off of hooks, skinny jean crooks
Pre-K lyrics, Why would i need a book?
I Reminisce reminisce, when Mobb dropped shook
Shan was down by law, such a good look
Nas God's Son his return was Stillmatic
Distortion To Static, You and Slum Fantastic
Thought I'd chop you out son see how you're doin
Come back to earth homie, hip hop is in ruins
I'm a third of the Tribe but Imma speak for the click
What up though, we miss you kid
Motor city say
Jay Dee flip another beat for me, Jay x4
[Verse 2: Phife]
Beatwise, you still that cat which most shit be measured
I'm that MC known to share his displeasure
With the route the game was taking, how mundane things have gotten
You know music on a whole, nevermind just hip hoppin
I'm in the club 3 hours and change
DJ spinnin Top 40, we be hearin all day
Some MCs are catalog, and yeah they stay paid
But why pay over one buck, when they lip synchin on stage?
King of pop, Barry White, rollin over in they grave
Jones Girls, Emotions singin Back in our Day
Dilla dude still crackin', they wish to be like you
Producer extraordinaires, knowing their beats be recycled
But on your worst day they couldn't mess with you
Cats makin Ts in remembrance of you
Least they could do is give your fam a dime or two
This man gave his heart, this what the fuck y'all do?
But yo don't stress my you, word bond we got you
Tell Baatin I said whats up, word he right next to you?
So NYC to the D with heavy hearts we miss you
Word God wish you were here, so until we meet again just
V.Rich on the keys
My main my DJ Rasta Root on the beat, on the cuts
Smokin Needles, [?], salute
Phife’s new single #dearDilla is an open letter to his long time friend and producer, the legendary J Dilla (James Dewitt Yancey), who passed away on 2006 from complications from a rare blood disorder. With a soundscape created by DJ Rasta Root, Phife talks to Dilla about the current state of music and how much he and his work are missed.
“Before J Dilla passed, he and I were playing phone tag, I didn’t even know he was that sick until it was too late,” Phife said. “We didn’t realize we were both going through a lot with our health and never got to sit and talk about it together.”
I felt like this song is that conversation. “I’ve been wanting to record a dedication to J Dilla for the longest, it just seemed to finally be the right time to do it,” said Phife from his home in Oakland, CA. “It was very therapeutic for me to do this. There are a lot of people dealing with renal failure and I wanted to make this a conduit, a way for people to put their health issues out there.”
#dearDilla combines the drum loop that Dilla used for Slum Village’s “Hold Tight” layered with Dilla’s distinct ad-libs sprinkled through out the track. Rasta Root enlisted the help of the DMV’s own V.Rich for the beautiful keys that make up the song’s hypnotic melody and a warm bassline by Atl’s own “DETOXXX”.
“The song organically came together piece by piece. Originally I looped it up to just have a new way of mixing in that song. Then it snowballed in to what you hear today. I wanted fans of Dilla and Phife to feel right at home with this track. I am very proud of Phife for opening up like this and giving the world this musical gem.” said Rasta Root from his Atlanta home studio.
#dearDilla also has an amazing visual directed by Chicago’s own Konee Rok. They shot the video over three days in Chicago and Detroit. ‘This is the most heartfelt project I’ve ever been blessed to be a part of.’ said Konee. ‘and represents the return of honest Hip Hop.’ Of the song, Konee also adds, ‘This is not just another rap song, but meaningful music. Art. If this was my last video, I would die happy.’