Bahamadia, Pharoahe Monch, N'Dea Davenport and Phife Dawg were all under one roof on July 17th to pay homage to a musical legend — J Dilla. The DC Loves Dilla show was packed with fans, family and friends ready to party to the donut-loving producer's hits. The area's talented artists, led by Jon Laine and backed by The Players, dominated the stage, playing a catalog's worth of Dilla tracks that filled the Howard Theatre. Hosted by Grap Luva, opening acts included Asheru, RA the MC, Hezekiah, Gods'Illa, Kokayi and Maimouna Youssef. Each artist took on a Dilla song, making it their own as they battled with the crowd, which knew every word.
While the energy of the audience was already high, it escalated when representatives of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, brought out J Dilla's mother Mama Yancey on stage to announce that they will showcase equipment donated by his family at the new museum when it's built. Dilla's custom synthesizer and beat machine will now be on display with the museum's pop music collection in Washington, DC. Talk about major.
During the tribute, Bahamadia performed the classic Dilla remix to "One 4 Teen" and Pharoahe Monch burst onstage with "F**k You" and later performed "Love." N'Dea Davenport, who showed up wearing a black veiled visor, performed "Whatever You Want" and "Bulls**t," and the night ended with Phife Dawg. Missing his A Tribe Called Quest group members, Phife still walked the crowd through the history of ATCQ with the help of host Grap Luva. Although Phife wasn't looking nor feeling his healthiest, it didn't stop the rapper from performing "Dear Dilla," "Buggin Out," "Electric Relaxation" and other hits.
Classic was the word of the evening as each artist commemorated J Dilla in his or her own way, proving again that the timeless producer will always remain in the fabric of music no matter what generation.