Wednesday, April 17, 2013

J Dilla Tributes & Unreleased Material

After his death at age 32, in 2006, James Yancey's catalog remains fodder for bootlegs, reissues, and retrospectives. Jay Stay Paid offers unreleased material, the official imprimatur of Dilla's mother, Maureen "Ma Dukes" Yancey, and music supervisor Pete Rock, who sequences 28 beats into a synth-heavy, rhythm-and-gangsta vibe, inviting old friends (Doom, Phat Kat) and new jacks (Diz Gibran) to add hot verses. With peaks (Black Thought's raging "Reality Check") and valleys (Blu's too blunted "Smoke"), the album is patchwork, but Dilla's brilliance remains stunningly apparent.

The Lost Scrolls Vol. 1, released in February 2013, is the first in a series of unreleased music from J Dilla. Fat Beats will distribute the 10-inch, which features four tracks from Dilla's vaults: "DeWitt To Do It," "Smack a Bitch," "Ruff & Rugged," and "The Throwaway." The latter is credited to the Yancey Boys — J Dilla and his brother Illa J — and features Frank Nitt on vocals, who also helped to assemble Lost Scrolls. When Yancey's family auctioned off J's record collection on eBay, they said they'd hold onto all of Dilla's personal recordings and unreleased music for a posthumous release, so expect many more volumes of Lost Scrolls in the future.

The Diary is the forthcoming posthumous album from the late hip hop musician J Dilla. Unlike Jay Stay Paid (2009) and Rebirth of Detroit (2012) – both edited with unreleased instrumentals - The Diary is a collection of Dilla's vocal performances over production by the likes of Madlib, Pete Rock, Nottz, House Shoes, Karriem Riggins, and others. It is currently without a release date, but expected in 2013 on Pay Jay Productions, Inc.

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