Of all the posthumous records that have come out, in my mind J Dilla’s works have always been the most consistent. Perhaps this is because he was a producer first, unlike say Pac or Biggie whose verses are often indefensibly tousled in with producers and rappers that probably still have the aforementioned legends rolling in their graves. Jay Stay Paid is a 25-track collection of music of which a strong majority is unreleased instrumentals that span from Dilla’s humble beginnings till his time at the hospital due to complications of Lupus. The album plays like a radio program throughout its entirety (phone calls, interviews included) with the very fitting Chocolate Boy Wonder, Pete Rock playing his part as a DJ for the hottest hour in hip-hop. It also features appearances from Black Thought, DOOM, Raekwon and Lil’ Fame amongst others.
Executively produced by Dilla’s mother, Maureen Yancey aka Ma Dukes, I can only hope that she gets to eat from this release and would imagine that this project serves as a little FUCK YOU to the executors of her son’s estate. In the past I talked to a few recognizable artists from Detroit who had affiliations with Dilla but are notably upset that the proprietors of Dilla’s music and name are not furnishing the needs of his [J-Dilla] immediate family.
Jay Stay Paid is a well crafted release, it’s no Donuts by any stretch of the musical imagination, but it remains a strong reminder of why people revere Dilla's music and bite his unique style. My only knock on this release is the album’s corny and clichéd artwork. Support good music and pick up J-Dilla, Jay Stay Paid on June 2nd.
TURN OFF THE RADIO!