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Words by: Chas Guy

Photos by: Photoleer

Tuesday night at the 930 Club was more than just another show… it was a celebration. A celebration to commemorate the passing of one of hip-hop’s finest, J Dilla. The name of the event, DC Loves Dilla, turned out to be 100% true. The house was packed with people all showing their support for the lost artist by wearing the message on their shirts or by bobbing their heads along to the music and mouthing the rhymes. There was not a single soul in attendance that didn’t know who Dilla was.

Dc heart dilla 2tone at dilla

This was the 6th time the tribute and fundraiser had been hosted in an effort to raise money for the J Dilla Foundation and the Lupus Foundation of America DC/MD/VA Chapter. Along with raising money and awareness for Lupus the event is helping to keep hip-hop alive! Giving these local artists to get up and show who they are by performing over already known music both brings back what hip-hop was and what it is today.

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All songs performed were produced by Dilla himself with just a new voice overtop of the beat and a 12-piece live band, Jon Laine & The Players, performing the music. Kaimbr, Awthentik, Gods’Illa, Alison Carney, J Hill, Talibah Safiya, Cynthia Hawkes, E Major, Kenn Starr, J Sands, Maimouna Youssef, DTMD, and Flex Mathews rocked the house. The special guest turned out to be The Pharcyde!

The Pharcyde – “Runnin’”

It is a big honor for the artists to be able to perform in this event. I was able to catch up with E Major and ask him a few questions about his night and Dilla.


E Major performed “Pause,” by Frank N Dank, along with Cynthia Hawkes. I asked E what it meant for him to be able to come and perform at this event and here is what he said: “I have been part of the Dilla Tributes since the 2nd year they started doing them and it’s always an honor. Some of DC’s best talent comes together to pay homage to one of the greatest artists to ever make Hip Hop. Being a part of that is very special.”

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My guess is that this is a similar feeling among most of the artists. Mainly because of the passion I can hear, as a listener in the crowd, coming from the artists as they are performing songs that are not their own. Performing something that is not your own with the illusion that it is says more than words can describe.

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If you love hip-hop and you missed this show, (for one you should be ashamed of yourself), be sure to catch next year’s because this event is only getting bigger and better!

Words to live by…De La Soul – “Stakes Is High”