In February, we heard “Anthem,” a long-lost J Dilla track hailing from the posthumous album The Diary, which will focus on songs that feature the legendary producer on the mike rather than behind the scenes. While the man born James Dewitt Yancey is best known for his beatwork for A Tribe Called Quest, the Pharcyde, Busta Rhymes and Slum Village, the Detroit-raised artist was an ace rapper as well — his 2003 collaborative album Champion Sound, which finds Jay Dee rhyming over Madlib’s beats and vice versa, is a fan favorite.
The new album is set to be released by PayJay Productions, the publishing company Dilla established before passing in 2006, in collaboration with Rappcats and overseen by the Estate of James Yancey. Though The Diary will feature beatwork by Madlib, Pete Rock, Nottz, House Shoes, and others, “Anthem” was produced by Dilla himself, as was its B-side “Trucks.” You’ll find the latter below — a muddy bootleg of this Gary Numan-inspired track has been making the rounds for some time, but it has never been officially released until now. “Trucks” playfully turns the New Wave legend’s “Cars” into a dedication to “big ass trucks with big ass rims.”
Purchase the “Anthem” single on vinyl via Rappcats now.