Yesterday morning, I, like many, partook in the customary consumption of donuts whilst making clever plays on the nom de plume “Dill.” I think I stopped myself somewhere around Dills, Crosby, and Nash.

In all of my celebratory clichés, the day began to take a slightly divergent course somewhere around 10pm. I had listened to “Welcome to the Show,” at least, fifty-seven times and, if even possible, had grown weary of the soulful pleading laid down by Motherlode.

For whatever reason, I just can’t wrap my head around loud noises in the midnight hours. Per usual, I needed something slightly more ambient for this session of midnight marauding. But, of course, it was still Dilla Day and I couldn’t abandon ship simply to appease my cheap desire for a late night auditory fix.

That’s when I grabbed Vintage.

Vintage is the sonic equivalent of Jordan scoring 61 against the ’87 Pistons. It’s like…once you drop 63 in the Garden, who really cares?

‘Tis an unfortunate by-product of hip-hop’s most dynamic discography. Underneath the Donuts and somewhere around the Shining, we have Vintage, easily the most overlooked project of them all. This was a collection that is best described as a “masterpiece in minimalism.” This isn’t experimental Jay Dee, but, then again, I’ve never considered avant-garde thought to be a prerequisite for genius.

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Several of these tracks went on to be featured in other projects, including Dwight Trible’s “Antiquity” (“Doo Doo”) and the remix to D’Angelo’s “Me and Those Dreamin’ Eyes of Mine” (“Dreamy”). As much as I’ve appreciated those particular interpretations, it always goes back to the music. What Dilla was doing over the period of 1995-1998 was nothing short of timeless. This compilation highlights his particular brand of brilliance.

So, as you reminisce on past sounds, remember Vintage. The vaults of James Yancey are like a musical cornucopia, but this is the one I’ll have in rotation during those moments stolen away by a cooled temperament and laid back vibes. Enjoy.

Written By: Paul Pennington

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