J. Dilla - The Shining 10x7"
We have the feeling that even though Jay Dee is gone from this world that we will continue to see new releases of his work. Sort of like a hip-hop Arthur Russell, or a hip hop... umm.. Tupac? Anyway, the man was a mad alchemist, constantly working and experimenting. We predict that even earlier records he produced such as A Tribe Called Quest's Beats, Rhymes And Life and De La Soul's Stakes Is High – maligned when they were originally released – will soon be greatly reconsidered in the context of Dilla's finally much-respected legacy.
And that's a good thing, because we'd hate to think that The Shining would be viewed as Jay Dee's crowning achievement. Working on this at the time of his death, his friend Karriem Riggins stepped in to finish the job, and while there is some great production work, it feels like more of a tribute record than a proper album. A number of A-list rappers including Common, Busta Rhymes and Guilty Simpson guest on most of the tracks too. While we like this less than we liked Dilla's previous effort, Donuts, (largely because it was instrumental) we think fans of Jay Dee will find much to love on The Shining.