It comes once a year. Full grown adults losing their sleep, tossing and turning dreaming of the festive seazon. They put on their good garments for this one day. A special time with family and friends laughing, reminiscing singing their favourite carols, and enjoying their Donuts….what, you thought I was talking about Christmas? I’m talking about Dilla Day, Feb 10, and the biggest jam in the Midlands, the J Dilla/Baatin Rest In Power Jam hosted by A Few Good Men!
Last year the jam was a tremendous success. It still left memories in heads since then, and so A Few Good Men (E Double D, DJ Psykhomantus, DJ Rhize and the founder Roc 1) decided to hold the event again, last time the day landed on a Thursday and the night ended early. This time it would be a Friday. I was concerned that the Hare & Hounds was not able to hold the capacity crowd this time around considering the ruckus that some of those Dilla bangas can bring.
After warming up the set, the team of UK DMC finalists and champions go into the J Dilla/Baatin set at 10.30pm, and got the crowd wilding to some of the biggest tracks such as Phat Kat– Nobody Care About Us, Slum Village-Players, Jaylib-The Red and Common-Thelonius. Heads up in the dance sweating crazy!!! However the DJs had a few tricks up their sleeve…
First trick, Psykhomantus drops a Dilla scratching mix and blend that shown the crowd why he is the former UK 2009 DMC Battle of Supremacy champion, mixing Dilla bangaz such as Common’s eMC2, and Raekwon‘s House Of The Flying Daggers. Then Rhize introduces local Birmingham act Da Mighty Elements to perform a short Dilla tribute live set. Unfortunately despite their efforts to keep the crowd hype with their Dilla and SV chants and rhyming over the Illa J DFTF instrumental, I think the crowd appreciated it but just wanted to keep partying hard.
E Double D presented his video mix, beginning with the phenomenal ‘Won’t Do’ and ending it with the mosh pit classic ‘Scenario by A Tribe Called Quest’. I will risk life and limb and put boots to asses on that battlefield when those tunes drop! E Double D then announces that an extended video selection will feature in the upcoming Yo! MTV Raps tribute jam later this April in which I will certainly be attending.
These Few Good DJs go on to play classics from Craig Mack to Pharoahe Monch to Wu-Tang to rewinding all the way back to the 80s with Eric B & Rakim. So here was me beliveing that they would return to the Dilla selection and REALLY hit us with killer tracks because I would have thought that the jam would last longer, but it strangely didn’t happen. Either they forgot a lot of the tunes from last year or they actually decided to change it up this time round. Either way it was a win-win for the crowd but for me personally I was hoping for more Dilla. Even the DJs were concerned about the stability of the Hare & Hounds venue as they teased the crowd with Ghostface Killah’s Daytona 500 and they quickly switched the track saying “nah they are not ready for that!!!!” It didn’t stop them playing Raekwon’s Criminology though….
The jam ‘prematurely’ ended at 2am with the Slum Village classic anthem- Get Dis Money, and so ‘1nce Again’ I left the jam with my crew buzzing yet disgruntled that the night didn’t go on longer. Was there truth in E Double D’s joke that he made during the night that “people look tired and are not used to hip hop jams”? Whether there was or not was not of consequence. These Few Good DJ’s promised that more hip hop jams like this will happen over the course of the year which to me is great news. Now headz needn’t complain that there is nowhere to go in the Midlands hip hop wise, A Few Good Men are here to erase that doubt. As far as Mr Yancey, I sincerely hope that he is proud of how the hip hop world pays homage and sees his influence Still Shining.
Video footage are on A Few Good Men facebook page. CLICK HERE AND LIKE A FEW GOOD MEN
Photos courtesy of A Few Good Men, Used By Permission.