I can’t help but think of what hip-hop might be like if J Dilla were still around. Sometimes I feel like the genre is still trying to catch up to his forward thinking style. If one blessing has come from Jay Dee’s passing, it’s the great amount of phenomenal tributes to the man’s work. BrotherSpanky’s personal tribute may have come out back in February (Dilla History Month), but the project is just now reaching my ears. Inspired by works like The Roots’ Dilla Joints mixtape and eLZhi’s ElMatic project, BrotherSpanky has chosen some of his favorite Dilla pieces and reworked them a bit. The instrumentals have remained unaltered, but are instead played with live instruments rather than samples and drum machines. Lyrics follow the same theme as Dilla’s originals, but are instead changed to go along with BrotherSpanky’s individuality. The James Yancey Sessions is a must hear, and it will most definitely find a place on next year’s Favorite J Dilla Tributes post.