J Dilla recorded “Trucks” in December 2001-February 2002 at Studio A, Detroit, MI. An unmastered MP3 version which leaked in 2008 has been heard by countless Dilla followers. This is the first time the mixed & mastered track has been heard. It was just released on J Dilla’s “Anthem” 12-inch, the first official release from J Dilla’s long lost vocal album, The Diary, coming next year on PayJay Productions.
The latest episode of Fuse TV’s series Crate Diggers is all about J Dilla – with J Rocc and DJ Spinna in a Detroit storage locker looking through Dilla’s vinyl. Among the records, we also get a glimpse of a mask used for Dilla’s treatment in Cedar’s Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles – a mask that Dilla hoped to wear for a cover photo of The Shining.
Ma Dukes, Amp Fiddler, House Shoes are interviewed, as well as the owner of a record store frequented by Dilla. Many of the photos in the video, including the one of Madlib & J Dilla in a record store, were shot by B+.
Exactly 12 years ago today: J Dilla, then known to most as Jay Dee, sits in with Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide on BBC Radio 1. Much of the half-hour segment covers Dilla’s album Welcome to Detroit, which would be released a week later on the BBE label. Some stories in the segment include a fight over the best sampler, the bootlegging of Slum Village’s Fan-tas-tic, working with Erykah Badu and D’Angelo, the Ummah and production for Janet Jackson. At the 14:00 mark we have words from Common. At the 29:00 mark, he says what he’s listening to (“Radiolab, Stereolab, Madlib”).
Also in the segment, around the 26 minute mark he states his belief that, “music is about to do a 360, people making things they’re truly proud of.” Looking back, lot has happened to music and the business and technology involved over the last 12 years. Did what he think come true?
Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide broadcast on BBC Radio 1 from 1998-2012, presenting a wide range of music from modern jazz to hip-hop and beyond, including older records and new. Worldwide was an early champion of artists like Madlib and Flying Lotus. In 2012, Peterson started a 3-hour Saturday afternoon show on BBC Radio 6 Music, and continues the search for the perfect beat at www.gillespetersonworldwide.com
PayJay Productions, Inc. was the company James Dewitt “J Dilla” Yancey founded in 2001 to house his production company and his publishing company. But it was also a symbolic move: PayJay was a sign that the maverick producer then known as Jay Dee would see his individual goals in music industry realized, and he would get paid in the process.
The Estate of James Yancey has revived PayJay as a functioning imprint, and is announcing its release of J Dilla’s long lost vocal album, The Diary. The first single “Anthem” b/w “Trucks” is now available at rappcats.com. Both “Anthem” and “Trucks” were produced, and feature complete vocal performances, by Dilla. The tracks come straight from multi-track masters found on 2-inch tape shortly after Dilla’s passing in 2006. These songs have been mixed by engineer Dave Cooley, who worked extensively with Dilla during his years in Los Angeles. Using Dilla’s original demo mixes as his guide, Cooley attempted to finalize Dilla’s vision for these tracks, while keeping all of the elements that Dilla had in place in his original demos present.
The Estate of James Yancey is administered by attorney Alex Borden and overseen by the Probate Court of the State of California on behalf of Yancey’s four heirs – his mother, Maureen “Madukes” Yancey, his brother John “Illa J” Yancey and his two daughters, Ja’Mya Yancey and Ty-monae Whitlow.
The Diary is an album of vocal performances recorded between in the early 2000s over production by the likes of Madlib, Pete Rock, Nottz, House Shoes, Karriem Riggins and others. PayJay recently issued the “Dilla World Tour” tee shirt in conjunction with clothing brand Stussy, and a collaborative figure is set to be released in 2013.