J Dilla was a prolific producer who left us far too soon, so it should come as no surprise that the public’s thirst for more of his groundbreaking work has inspired those who collaborated most closely with him to unearth and share every dust-caked Jay Dee gem they can find. Thankfully, there’s no shortage of quality material hiding out there. Last month we saw the video for a song called “The Throwaway,” and its title was not the least bit self-referential. That track hailed from the now in-progress Lost Scrolls vinyl series on Fat Beats, and now we’ve learned of The Diary, a forthcoming “long lost vocal album” (yes, he rapped quite well too in case you missed that) set for an undetermined release date on PayJay, the production company originally founded by Dilla himself.
Some info: “The tracks come straight from multi-track masters found on two-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 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.” Riggins recently paid the man born James Yancey a little bit of birthday tribute (via “J Dilla the Greatest”) along with his Stones Throw cohorts.
For the time being, we have “Anthem,” a rowdy club banger featuring puckish Detroit duo Frank n Dank. This Dilla-produced paean to getting “effed up” will be available on 12-inch single April 15 packaged with B-side “Trucks.”