Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  And It Don't Stop
  Book Reports
  Is It Still Good to Ya?
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Xgau Sez
  And It Don't Stop
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Rolling Stone
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
Web Site:
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
CG Search:
Google Search:

J. Dilla

  • Donuts [Stones Throw, 2006] ***
  • Jay Stay Paid [AntAcidAudio, 2009] B+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Donuts [Stones Throw, 2006]
More about moments than flow, which is strange when you think about it ("Workinonit," "Lightworks"). ***

Jay Stay Paid [AntAcidAudio, 2009]
Where the genius loops a dying Dilla strung together on Donuts are a kind of chain necklace, Pete Rock weaves these legacy beats into something more ropelike--a lanyard, say. Since both records are more abstract than their cheering sections understand, the many voices Rock enlists make a difference. From Doom and Black Thought down to Phat Kat and Frank Nitty, they ground Dilla's beats where, for instance, the finished singles collected on Rapster's Dillanthology comp put them in the background where any pro knows they belong. The result is less a mixtape than a hip-hop version of a good Augustus Pablo album--more varied, jocular, and disquieting because that's how hip-hop is, but still a single organism. B+