Hip hop heads have a few reasons to celebrate on Record Store Day April 16.
First off, a new posthumous release from the late, great artist and producer J Dilla will be released on LP that day. The Diary comes out on CD and cassette the day before, but April 16’s vinyl release will come with a free 7” inside that includes the song “The Ex” (featuring Bilal) plus an R&B version of the song on the B-side. The song is a Pete Rock production.
The story behind the lost album is that J Dilla (real name James Dewitt Yancey) recorded an album’s worth of vocals back in 2002 that were ultimately shelved his parent label. That lead Yancey to break from the major label system and leave Detroit for California, where he produced his classics Ruff Draft, Jaylib's Champion Sound and Donuts.
Now, following Yancey’s death in 2006, his estate has been trying to get the album released for years. Finally, the album is coming out, with production from Madlib, Pete Rock, Hi-Tek, Nottz, House Shoes, Supa Dave West, Bink! and Karriem Riggins, and guest spots from Bilal, Frank N Dank, Boogie and others.