A Previously Unreleased Gem From J. Dilla & Phat Kat Makes Its World Premiere (Audio)
Whenever a hidden gem from the late J. Dilla’s vault surfaces, Hip-Hop Heads always take notice to explore the buried treasure. The iconic producer’s former collaborator and fellow Detroit, Michigan native Phat Kat has unveiled a surefire diamond-in-the-rough banger from 1996 that hasn’t seen the light of day until now.
Phat Kat is slated to re-release the deluxe edition of his critically acclaimed 2007 album Carte Blanche via Below System Records (July 27). The LP consists of stellar production from Dilla, Black Milk, Young RJ, and Nick Speed, along with bonus tracks. The deluxe package includes the appropriately-titled “World Premiere” featuring one of the most industrial, raw beats from Dilla Heads may ever hear.
The track (which has been looming online for years ahead of formal release) is a relic of when James Yancey was an up-and-coming producer/MC known as “Jay Dee.” As his profile grew from his work with artists such as Keith Murray, The Pharcyde, and De La Soul, Dilla also served as one-half of 1st Down. Phat Kat was his partner. The duo signed to New York-based independent (and recently re-launched) imprint Payday Records where they were label-mates with Showbiz & A.G., WC & The Maad Circle, and Jeru The Damaja. That label planned to release “World Premiere” on 1st Down’s debut, however, the project remained shelved.
Over the dusty acoustic Jazz bassline and gritty MPC-snare kicks of “World Premiere,” Phat Kat’s towering vocals nod to early EPMD: “MCs out there / You better stand clear / That ni**a Phat coming with the world premiere.” The moment emphatically lives up to the track’s title. The beat also sounds a blueprint to Dilla’s future work with A Tribe Called Quest’s production trio The Ummah, Slum Village, Common, and The Roots in the late ’90s and early 2000s.
Phat Kat further explained the significance of unearthing “World Premiere” over 20 years later, and the purpose for re-releasing Carte Blanche. “Fans old and new can expect to be reintroduced to some raw, authentic, classic Detroit Hip-Hop from beginning to end,” says the MC also known as Ronnie Cash in a press statement. Plus, he claims that there are more unreleased track that will be unveiled soon.
Carte Blanche features a plethora of important Motown artists, including Elzhi, Guilty Simpson, T3, Fat Ray, House Shoes, and Melanie Rutherford. Former Aftermath songstress Truth Hurts also appears.