The Wire

News

J Dilla lost vocal album The Diary to be released

Mass Appeal and PayJay to issue lost J Dilla album The Diary

The Estate of James Yancey has revived the late J Dilla’s record label company PayJay to release the revered beatmaker’s ‘lost’ vocal album The Diary in conjunction with New York rapper Nas’s imprint Mass Appeal.

Originally intended for release in 2002, the album represents the final batch of unissued material Dilla had assembled during his lifetime. The Diary features vocal performances by J Dilla, Snoop Dogg, Bilal, Kokane, Frank N Dank, Nottz and Boogie, with production by Dilla, Madlib, Pete Rock, Hi-Tek, Nottz, House Shoes, Supa Dave West, Bink! and Karriem Riggins.

The Diary was assembled over a ten year period from two-track mixdowns and multitrack masters found in J Dilla’s archives following his death in 2006. Its completion was overseen by The Estate of James Yancey’s Creative Director Eothen Alapatt, long term general manager of Stones Throw Records. Alapatt previously oversaw the 2008 expanded edition of 2003’s Ruff Draft EP. The Estate of James Yancey is overseen by California’s Probate Court on behalf of Yancey’s four heirs – his mother Maureen ‘Ma Dukes’ Yancey, his brother John ‘Illa J’ Yancey and his two daughters Ja’Mya Yancey and Ty-monae Whitlow.

Commenting on The Diary, Eothen Alapatt said; “In the ten year period preceding the liberation of this album, I reminded myself of one thing, over and over again: Dilla wanted The Diary released. Dilla was a singular genius – a polarising figure. He was a man I knew, but he is now approaching mythical status. It was one of the biggest honours of my life to work with Dilla, and this moment, the release of this album, though heavy, is also uplifting and the celebration of a moment, a man, and a vision.”

Listen to “The Introduction”: