By now most everyone is familiar with the story of musical legend J Dilla. The quiet, prolific producer collaborated with everyone from Erykah Badu to Common to Janet Jackson to Prince. Dilla was just beginning to capitalize on his cult status when he sadly passed at age 32 due to Lupus-related complications. Jay Stay Paid is a 25 track collection of unreleased Dilla beats mixed and arranged by Pete Rock. While mostly instrumental, “J$P“ also offers a few guests vocals from artists that Dilla worked with or admired including Black Thought of The Roots, MF DOOM, and M.O.P.
Curtailing any notion of jumping on some sort of Dilla bangwagon, Jay Stay Paid was executive produced by Dilla’s mother Maureen Yancey (aka Ma Dukes) along with the musical supervision of Dilla’s only real musical idol, Pete Rock. “It wasn’t rushed and it wasn’t haphazard,” explains Ms Yancey. “This album combines what he did in the beginning of his career, what he did in some of our early hospital stays, which was very deep, and some stuff pulled from old floppy disks & DATs. Its mind blowing…this is like the missing links to Dilla’s legacy.”
The format of the album plays like a radio show with Pete Rock as the program director. With regards to Pete’s involvement, Ms. Yancey gets very excited, “Dilla wanted to pattern himself behind Pete. His dream was to become as close as possible to what Pete stood for. Pete meant everything to him. Dilla would have just been flabbergasted! ” Pete’s sentiments were the same toward Dilla, “Dude was amazing. He just kinda came outta nowhere and the more you heard his beats the better they got. He may not be here with us, but it’s all good we’re going to keep his music alive and well.”
In the late 80s, Dilla founded the seminal rap group Slum Village and put Detroit hip-hop on the map, while the 90′s saw him playing a major role in the production team The Ummah with Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammad doing extensive work on A Tribe Called Quest’s last two albums.
Jay Stay Paid will be released on June 2nd on Nature Sounds.