Jay Dee aka J Dilla, The Shining

Nate Patrin

By Nate Patrin

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

The Shining

Jay Dee aka J Dilla
A great producer’s posthumous testament.

The first post-mortem record from the legendary producer — and, doubtless, not the last — The Shining was already three-quarters finished when Jay Dee passed away earlier in the year. But this album doesn't seem like a disjointed cash-in. Everything here feels complete; this is a producer-driven record that coheres tighter than most. It helps that the right MCs are matched to the right tracks: Common rides the bounce of the self-consciously retro-futuristic "E=MC2," which would've been the best Dilla-produced track on Electric Circus by a mile, while Busta Rhymes sounds crazier than he has in a decade yelling at a mosquito kazoo chorus of Beethoven's Fifth on the brief leadoff "Geek Down." Best of all are the "Love" tracks: the minute-long but substantial jazz-funk loop "Love Jones"; the elusive Pharoahe Monch rap-singing nonchalantly intense R&B on "Love"; the chart-ready macro-snap of MED & Guilty Simpson's "Jungle Love"; and "Love Movin'," which gives the Roots 'Black Thought a rattling Afrobeat march to stomp through.