This, as my friends back in Dublin would say, is for the day that’s in it.
De La Soul were the band that helped me truly fall in love with hip hop. 3 Feet High & Rising is a stone-cold classic. But then so are quite a few of their other work, including Stakes Is High, produced by the beat genius who was J Dilla.
This cover of that amazing track is taken from a fund-raising concert where Dilla’s amazing output was interpreted by an orchestra and a few of his old accomplices including, in the case of Stakes Is High, Posdnous of De La Soul (one of my favourite rappers, ever) and Talib Kweli.
You can see and hear the emotion in the crowd and on the stage and when the strings really lay into the sample of Ahmad Jamal’s Swahililand the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Every time.
The Stakes Is High cover is an amazing version of an amazing song, and a fitting tribute to Dilla’s amazing talents and, of course, De La Soul’s fantastic output.
And so, as I wait for my free donwload link to arrive (and hope it will work when it arrives), I leave you with another charity tribute to Dilla (this time from Phife of A Tribe Called Quest) and an absolutely amazing radio show from just after he died. Peace.