"One of the most important musicians of our time. When we think of John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder, and Marvin Gaye, J Dilla will be going down along that history line of greatness." - Common (from XXL)
"He inspired me so much. One of the best days of my life was when he handed me a record with drums on it. I was so honored." - Kanye West (from XXL)
Jay Dee’s “Welcome to Detroit” was the album that kicked off BBE’s Beat Generation series. This seminal album (it even has its own Wikipedia entry) cemented Dilla’s reputation as a virtuoso beat maker with a remarkable range of talents. For the first time, (from that album) “Think Twice” appears on a very limited 7” single. It is a cover of Donald Byrd's seminal classic featuring Dwele on vocals... it shows Dilla’s supreme versatility behind the boards (and on the mic — it’s not the featured Dwele that sings the hook).
And from his posthumously relealeased album “The Shinining” :
Common, meanwhile, does the Common thing, which is to ride the beat dumbly (but appropriately) on standout robofunker “E=MC2,” Despite Kanye boosting his sales numbers, it was Jay Dee who consistently brought out the best emcee in Common, his former roommate, and he proves it again here on "E=MC2."