Illa J Pays Homage To The Determined Spirit Of Detroit In His Video For “Home”
The Midwest-raised polymath drops his album June 30.
By JASON PARHAM
Years back, the ever-uncompromising music mogul Berry Gordy reflected on the spirit of Motown, the iconic record label he founded in 1959 that introduced the world to once-in-a-century talents like Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, and the Jackson 5. “Our music reflected true things,” he said. The music and the unmatched soul found in Motown’s greatest hits, Gordy believed, was born of Detroit — it’s people, their daily defeats and triumphs, their love for one another.
A similar image of Detroit-bred trueness throbs in the video for “Home,” a moving testimonial to family and the power of community by Illa J that is premiering on The FADER today. “I stay focused, I stay inspired,” he sings in an oily soprano over a slowed-down, soul-soaked sample. “Got no trouble, walk through the fire.”
“The house I’m sitting in front of on the video is actually the house my parents brought me home to as a baby,” J told The FADER via email. “It’s home in the most literal sense, as I’m surrounded by family, my nieces, and cousins. Also, in a way, I’m showing how I’m the man of my family now since my dad and my brother [J Dilla] are gone physically; I represent them both.”
Soundtracked entirely by Los Angeles producer Calvin Valentine, and featuring Moka Only and Dank, Home drops June 30 on Jakarta Records. You can pre-order it here, and watch the eponymous video above.