Album Remarks & Appraisals:
J DILLA leaves behind an impression on Hip Hop that will last the test of time. His contributions ranged from defining Detroit Hip Hop as a founding member of SLUM VILLAGE to providing his production talents to COMMON, D'ANGELO, BUSTA RHYMES, ERYKAH BADU, A TRIBE CALLED QUEST, THE PHARCYDE, THE ROOTS, JANET JACKSON and MACY GRAY. Jay Dee aka J Dilla sadly past away in February this year, three days after his thirty-second birthday. This album 'The Shining' will serve as a testament to the the fact that legends never die ensuring his cult status lives on. 'The Shining' serves as a showcase of J Dilla's talents which features him not only as a producer, but also as a rapper, singer and musician. Featured guests on the album include BUSTA RHYMES, COMMON, PHAROAHE MONCH, D'ANGELO, MADLIB, BLACK THOUGHT, MEDAPHOR aka MED, and GUILTY SIMPSON.
Rolling Stone (p.90) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "[L]ush and layered: 'So Far to Go' could be a classic soul ballad....Dilla uses background hiss, vocal effects and the stark, hushed movie clips to inject a sense of foreboding."
Spin (p.103) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[The] album sports the trademark soul loops, crackling drums, and underwater ambience of his best past work..."
Spin (p.57) - Ranked #35 in Spin's "The 40 Best Albums of 2006" -- "[I]t's a remarkably cohesive, entrancing farewell."
Entertainment Weekly (p.87) - "His warm, intimate style is highlighted throughout, especially on 'So Far To Go,' a gorgeous ballad featuring floating coos from fellow enigmatic genius D'Angelo." -- Grade: A-
The Wire (p.55) - "[T]he most astonishing thing about THE SHINING isn't so much its bright and celebratory tone as its modesty....Its elegiac tone is profoundly affecting and you can feel the silence when the music stops."
CMJ (p.6) - "THE SHINING's live instrumentation lends a relaxed R&B lilt that accentuates the human warmth Yancey brought to every project."
Vibe (p.138) - "His scattered styles are woven together seamlessly....SHINING brims with clear-cut and fully resolved ideas."
XXL (Magazine) (p.176) - "[The album] commemorates his musical genius by juxtaposing lush loops with formidable flows."
Personnel: Dontae Winslow (trumpet); Karriem Riggins (drums, bass programming).
Audio Mixers: Dave Cooley; Bob Power.
Liner Note Author: Questlove.
Black Thought, Common, Madlib, Busta Rhymes, and Pharoahe Monch all make appearances on beloved producer J Dilla's (a.k.a. Jay Dee a.k.a. James Yancy) posthumous release, THE SHINING. Don't get it twisted, though: despite the thick guest list, Dilla is the star on every track, with MCs playing hype-man while his production wizardry rocks the party. Every song is a testament to the late Mr. Yancy's extraordinary talents, with hard chunky beats and occasional samples from the titular film blending into softer electro and Nu Jazz. THE SHINING is a triumph but also a bittersweet reminder that not only hip-hop but music as a whole has lost a true artist.