Rappers of all sects and varieties took a moment out of their time to wish J Dilla a happy birthday on his would-be 40th “Dilla Day” on February 7.
One of those MCs, Phife Dawg of the immortal A Tribe Called Quest, had already went out of his way to honor his fallen producer comrade with a heartfelt ode titled “Dear Dilla.”
The visual to the DJ Rasta-Root produced, Konee Rok-directed tribute gives the sentiment a colorful upgrade as the “5 Footer” shoots his scenes everywhere from Atlanta to Dilla’s hometown of Detroit to give the lyrics an organic feel.
James Yancey, better known to the Hip-Hop community as J Dilla, worked with Phife for his own solo album Ventilation: Da LP, as well as ATCQ’s last big single “Find A Way” but that isn’t where the two rap pioneers similarities began and ended. While Dilla suffered (and eventually succumbed) to a rare blood disorder, Phife’s diabetes were well documented as his health started to decline as the group started to disband.
The video opens with Phife having a dream that he was sharing a hospital room with the Donuts producer, eventually leading him to rise up and hit the pavement with a newfound energy.
Check out the video below which features a host of well-placed cameos, including one from the lovely Ma Dukes Yancey.