Nas Plays A New J Dilla Collabo, Produced By Madlib (Video)
In October of 2014, Nas began a public pursuit of bringing recognition to the music of J Dilla. During a Mass Appeal Records release party for Run The Jewels’ second album, the investor in the label shared his take on a Dilla “donut” beat. The track would be called “The Seasons.”
In the year and a half since, Mass Appeal has become the home for what is being billed as the last album by J Dilla. The Detroit, Michigan producer/MC/drummer was working on what is known as The Diary at the time of his February, 2006 death. The album was initially planned to be released on MCA Records in 2002, but the label shelved the solo major label album that included underground cult-adored single, “Fuck The Police.” Reportedly, the Slum Village co-founder continued to work on the album over the next three-plus years.
Last night (March 17), Nas headlined a Mass Appeal Records event at 2016 South By Southwest. There, the MC previewed a track from the April 15 Jay Dee posthumous release. The Illmatic star explained, “New shit comin’, from my man the incredible J Dilla, comin’ out this year: The Diary [by] J Dilla. [It will be] his last piece, his last album, the thing he was working on [when he died in 2006]. We’re honored to release that through Mass Appeal. Love.”
Then, Nas played a song known as “The Sickness” that is also an apparent JayLib collaboration. According to the label, Madlib produced the song that features by Dilla, and now Nas. Having added his vocals to the record presumably in the last year, Nas did not perform his verse, but rather played the track that was filmed from the audience. Presumably, this song is one of two exclusive iTunes songs in the tracklist, announced with the release of first single, “The Introduction.”
During his life, Dilla worked extensively with Nas collaborators such as Busta Rhymes, Common, and Q-Tip. Other posthumous releases by the artist also known as Jay Dee have included collaborations with MF DOOM, Black Thought, and Havoc.
The Diary is the first solo, vocal J Dilla album since 2003’s Ruff Draft.