Soundtrack: J Dilla vs The Beach Boys

Okay, stay with me here. The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds is perhaps the greatest rock album of all time (and Sir Paul McCartney's favorite). J Dilla was the virtuoso who created the sound of golden era rap. Bullion is a London producer who put the two sounds together. And it works.


J Dilla's sound is iconic — sampling from oddball 60's soul and funk, chopping it up, breaking it down, and spinning it into something entirely novel. These aren't just monotonous "beats," they're entirely new melodies. (Dilla's final album Donuts, released just days before his death, served as the bumper music on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim for the better part of a decade)


First off, this is not just a song — it's a soundtrack. Bullion cut each song from Pet Sounds into elements, re-assembling them with Dilla's style and sensibility. In the process, Bullion created not just a tribute to Dilla, he gave us an entirely new look at the greatest songs the Beach Boys ever wrote.

Take track number four, "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times". In the Beach Boys' hands, this song is gorgeous, haunting melancholy. Spun out by Bullion in Dilla's image, those same sounds and phrases turn into something infectiously joyful.

I realize this is a fringe choice, a masters-level course in remixology with required reading in both rock history and hip hop legend. It's perhaps best appreciated by someone familiar with the source material. But even if you've never heard of The Beach Boys or J Dilla, the soul and the sounds of this oddball combo still reach into you and grab you by the groove gland. As all good surf rock/hip hop remixes should.

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You must be joking! The beach boys were about harmony and soulful. This is a head banging nightmare. A digital monstrosity not an acoustic dream. This sounds like techno disco and the sound quality is awful. Do you remember what instruments and voices sound like? The deaf are leading the blind.