Apologies for the long gap in posts – I’m in “end of the semester” crunch time right now and just haven’t had a ton of mental energy left.

Having said that…I was listening (late pass) to the new album by Finale, which has gotten some very strong response amongst the hip-hop blogerati. And I was really struck by the bonus song, “Paid Homage,” which is dedicated to the late J-Dilla, produced by Flying Lotus, and interpolating Dilla’s “Fall In Love” beat for Slum Village.

It is incredibly striking to me how “Fall In Love” has this mnemonic power to keep recycling back into our musical world, seemingly without tiring out listeners. I’ve always found that to be the case – as with many, it’s one of my favorite Dilla tracks of all time and just in this past year, we’ve seen it return thrice!

But first, start with the sample source:

Gap Mangione: Diana in the Autumn Wind
From Diana In the Autumn Wind (Josh Music, 1968)

One of these days, I’ll throw down for this LP – Mangione nails a great vibe on the whole thing, well-exemplified by the above song but hardly limited to it. Producers certainly have felt the same way; a few cuts off the LP have been sampled and “Diana” alone has had different segments clipped.

So here’s that Slum Village cut I was talking about. I’m assuming you all have heard it but for the two in the world who haven’t, get ready for a treat:

Slum Village: Fall In Love
From Fantastic, Vol. 2 (Goodvibe, 2000)

Great opening drums, beautiful filtered sample of the Mangione, an instant classic.

One, two.

So just how popular has “Fall In Love” gotten? As noted, in just the last year we’ve had three reworkings. I’ll start with the Suite From Ma Dukes version.

Carlos Nino and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson: Fall In Love
From Suite for Ma Dukes (Mochilla, 2009)

I’ve written much about this EP already and this is a lovely interpolation of the Mangione but neither a true cover of either Gap’s OG or the SV’s tune. It takes those two sources as a starting point and then works from there.

The Ins vs. Fleur Earth: Fall In Love
From 7″ (MPM, 2008)

This actually came out last year but I hadn’t heard it until more recently – this is more of a direct, instrumental cover of the SV song though vocally, it’s just the chorus being repeated over a loungey interpretation of Dilla’s beat. And that brings us to:

Finale: Paid Homage
From A Pipe Dream and a Promise (Interdependent, 2009)

True to the song’s title, Finale and Fly-Lo do up this homage right on so many levels – Finale’s autobiographical tale of meeting and building with Dilla feels real and heartfelt and Fly-Lo recreates the “Fall In Love” beat through his own sonic vision, paying tribute in his own way to a musical mentor. Great way to end the album and a fitting way to close this post.