Night Watch

J Dilla Tribute at Milky Way

J Dilla Tribute

Milky Way, 284 Amory St., Jamaica Plain, Wednesday, 9 p.m. 617-524-6060,

The deal: After a hiatus, local DJ Nomadik returns to the Milky Way this Wednesday to host the second annual tribute to J Dilla, the beloved Detroit hip-hop producer who died of a blood disease in 2006. The Jamaica Plain venue is a step up from Hibernian Hall, where the tribute was held last year, says Nomadik: “It’s a beautiful place, and it’s much more intimate. . . . Also, it’s T accessible and it has a big parking lot.” A number of musicians, among them Letia Larok and City Slickers, will perform J Dilla covers on Wednesday; each will be backed by Berklee’s own J Dilla All Stars band. Artwork inspired by J Dilla’s music will again play a part. Why is it so important that we honor J Dilla’s output? “Lyrics are good and all,” says Nomadik, “but you can really just vibe to [J Dilla’s] instrumentals, which isn’t the case with everyone’s.”

The charity: A portion of the proceeds from the event will go to the J Dilla Foundation, which helps to fund inner-city music programs, and provides scholarships to students attending schools that have progressive music curricula.

Three songs you’re likely to hear: “Stakes Is High (J Dilla Remix)” by De La Soul; “Runnin’ ” by the Pharcyde; “Players” by Slum Village


The tip: J Dilla’s mother, “Ma Dukes,” will not be there on Wednesday, as she was last year, but if you show up before 10 p.m., you can catch a video message from her.

Peter Cocchia

Peter Cocchia can be reached at