As West Coast Sound scribe Drew Tewksbury just reported, Wednesday marked the fourth anniversary of the tragic passing of legendary hip-hop producer J Dilla, aka James Yancey. After years of excellent behind-the-scenes production work, Dilla rose to fame as a member of Detroit's Slum Village, and briefly became a part of Los Angeles' rap community when he moved out here to be closer to his mother after his being diagnosed with Lupus.
Dilla's final release before his death — three days before, in fact — was Donuts, put out by the city's own Stones Throw Records and featuring an unusual track that's gone on to become one of his signature pieces:"Lightworks." The Dilla song sampled a bizarre commercial jingle of the same name by exotica and electronic music O.G. Raymond Scott, and has since been sampled itself, rapped over first by Talib Kweli and Q-Tip, and more recently by
MF DOOM on his 2009 album, Born Like This.
And now, talented Brazilian up-and-comer Cibelle has done this:
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Click "More" to download the song (free), and read more (also free) about this cover.
Cibelle, who here appears as her post-apocalyptic outer-space alias Sonja Khalecollon, doesn't explicitly mention Dilla as an influence in the video's accompanying description on Vimeo, but her astral-inclined monologue partway through seems consistent, at least, with the loopier side of the Stones Throw ethos. Cibelle also has something thing in common with another artistic entity associated with Los Angeles: she's often referred to as a practitioner of "tropical punk," when, of course, she isn't crooning awesome alien lounge music.
"Lightworks," which you can download below, is from Cib— er, Miss Khalecallon's upcoming full-length, Las Vênus Resort Palace Hotel, which is, of course, the name of the last cabaret on Earth. We like to think J Dilla would've spun there at least once.