While some deceased music luminaries — well, so far just Tupac — rejoin us in hologram form, others endure in the form of their record collections. That includes the late British DJ John Peel, whose vast trove is gradually going online, or the late rapper/producer James “J Dilla” Yancey, whose personal crates were said to be on sale at a Detroit-area record store. J Dilla is like Tupac in another way, though, in that after his death in 2006, at age 32, he left behind plenty of material for posthumous releases.
Detroit’s own hip-hop eccentric Danny Brown has already rapped on one, 2009’s Jay Stay Paid, and his latest work over Dilla’s beats, titled “Jay-Dee’s Revenge,” has now surfaced, with an impressionistic video to go with it. “Jay-Dee’s Revenge” impressively mimics an in-the-flesh collaboration, with Danny Brown engaging in a little call-in-response name-shouting with Dilla’s recording. Otherwise, the track is almost the textbook example of what might be expected from the two: Brown’s sharp yelp with vivid, goofy sex talk, backed by Dilla’s kaleidoscopic, expertly placed samples and thick bass lines. In other words, fans of both artists should definitely take note.
The video itself mostly just shows disconnected images relating to Dilla — it’s not like there’s a plot or anything — but it does reveal that “Jay-Dee’s Revenge” is from a compilation called Rebirth of Detroit, due out on June 12. Prefix reports that the record will feature Cool Kids’ Chuck Inglish and Dilla’s brother Illa J, along with former Dilla collaborators Guilty Simpson, Phat Kat, Frank Nitt, and Amp Fiddler. “This will bring together artists that have drifted away from one another and haven’t been able to work with each other lately,” said Dilla’s mother, Maureen “Ma Dukes” Yancey, in a video posted on YouTube last month. “It’s a healing process for the city … It’s time to be proud to be a Detroiter.”