Last Saturday Canada showed their love for the late, great J Dilla, hailing from Detroit Michigan. The classic “boom bap,” hard-hitting hip-hop sampling style that he perfected earned him a permanent place as one of the greatest musical producers of all time. The venue was a small, underground club called Adelaide Hall, in Toronto. It had a laid back, retro vibe to it; the ceilings were covered with booming speakers and the floor was filled with hip-hop fanatics. DJ Soko from Detroit Michigan started off the night with nasty precision, throwing down records ranging from “The $” from Dilla’s Ruff Draft, and “Dilla Says Go” from Dilla’s 2006 album Donuts.
Next came the MCs of the night, Junia-T and Gene One, along with DJ Grouch. Grouch threw down hard beats as the MCs spit clever rhymes. They reminisced about their time working with Dilla, paid respect to his rigid work ethic, and urged the audience to enjoy themselves and act as if it was an old-school house party. “There’s nothing to see up here, go dance, drink and have a good time,” the MCs told the crowd as the DJs vigorously scratched and spun. Dilla’s ubiquitous influence was felt by the entire audience and the shared love and reverence kept the party going.
Around midnight, the audience was blessed with a set by DJ Rhettmatic and Dankery Harv, two of J Dilla’s closest friends and partners. Dankery Harv, part of the duo “Frank n Dank” rapped over multiple Dilla beats such as “The Anthem” on Dilla’s The Diary and “Pause” on Welcome 2 Detroit. DJ Rhettmatic was the DJ on what became J Dilla’s final tour. Together, Dank and Rhettmatic revived the soul and sounds of J Dilla and created a one-of-a-kind tribute experience with the Canada Loves Dilla Tour.