The Revolutionary Music Of J Dilla

Harmony Holiday at Bookforum:

That hagiography can make a whole generation of listeners and griot consumers delusional or silly with lopsided obsession, but in the aftermath of Dilla’s time on the planet, the hero worship that bloomed felt more like a call to rigor and self-mastery. Dilla renewed a whole era’s trust in its ability to sound how it felt to be alive, to sound real and not like someone hoping to get famous off a gimmick. Our collective faith in singular greatness, like that of John Coltrane or Duke Ellington or Miles Davis or Billie Holiday, was renewed by Dilla. Dilla Time, the book, gives us a precise map of the influence we were trying to unravel then, and explains why it felt like mundane time had officially ended for a while. Mistakes were “thrilling to James,” Charnas writes. “They reminded him of messy house parties, and the interminable rehearsals of his childhood, and the discord of musical devotion in the sanctuary of Vernon Chapel, the unity made from the chaos of humans interacting.”

more here.