Archive for Illa J

J Dilla X Black Thought = One Hell of a “Reality Check”

Posted in Downloads, Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on Monday, April 20, 2009 by Tim Althaus

jdilla I figured I would start off my posts today with a track that is worth hearing on 4/20. This track comes to us from the fine people over at Okayplayer. As I mentioned in a post a while back, Ma Dukes and Pete Rock are going to be putting out an album via Nature sounds on June 2nd entitled Jay Stay Paid. This is the first track that we have the pleasure of hearing, and it features Black Thought, one of the best emcees in the game. As usual you can expect a great beat from one of the all-time greats, and Black Thought rips through this beat like paper, all while making it seem so effortless.

This album sounds like it’s going to the spectacular, according to the article I read at OKP, Jay Stay Paid is going to contain mostly instrumentals (which I am totally okay with) but will feature an all-star cast of emcees. What emcees can you expect to hear on the ablum? Illa J, DOOM, Black Thought, Raekwon, Havoc, Blu & MOP. I don’t need to say a whole lot more about this album other than that if you don’t pick it up on June 2nd you are crazy.

Download: J Dilla “Reality Check” (Featuring Black Thought)


Album Review: Illa J, Yancey Boys 

Posted in Music Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on Monday, November 24, 2008 by Tim Althaus

yancey-bosThe first thing that I need to tell you in regards to this album is that it’s never easy to follow in the footsteps of a legend. The second thing that I need to tell you is that this album may be the best treasure trove of “Ummah era” beats I’ve ever heard, and for that alone I could give the album at least a 7. The beats that are on this album are very laid back and very omniscient of the work that Jay Dee did with Tribe and Pharcyde. The one thing that I love about Jay Dee is that he had the ability to make beats seem so effortless, and at the same time sound so complex.

Illa J is one of those cats that can rhyme and sing (as Phonte would say “Sometimes I rap, sometime I sing like the Moody Blues), and it really makes for an interesting mix. “We Here” is the first track that really kicks things off with a sly and smooth beat with Illa going off like a pistol on this beat. I’ve heard a lot of people critisizing Illa J’s flow but I don’t think that’s necissary because this kid definitely has some major potential. “R U Listenin’?” is a serious highlight for the album that has Illa J and Detroit veteran Guilty Simpson exchanging verses over a futuristic synthy beat. Guilty completely kills this track (“I cheef cheeba/sleep with divas/and serve these whack rappers like pizzerias”) and outshines Illa J a little but not too much. Frank Nitty (of Frank N Dank) gives some great insight into the Yancey family and very well may convince you that they are all aliens and Affion Crockett provides some comedic relief and spits some rhymes as well. The beats (as I’ve said before) are great, and this album may be one of the best compilations of ummah era Dilla beats I’ve heard.

I have seen a lot of people giving this album a pretty low rating for the quality that it actually has. I think that a lot of people are over estimating Illa J because they expect to hear the next Dilla. Illa J has some serious potential, and I wouldn’t be surprised to end up seeing him on the Stones Throw roster doing some serious damage in the future.


Video: Illa J “My Brothers Keeper” Pt. 1 & 2

Posted in Video with tags , , , , , on Monday, November 10, 2008 by Tim Althaus


Illa J released his solo debut Yancey Boys (on Delicious Vinyl) last week on Tuesday which is comprised completely of beats done by his big brother (and my inspiration) J Dilla. This is another album I just haven’t gotten a good listen of yet, but I can guarantee that this album will be something special. If you can all think about what Jay Dee’s sound was like back in the Ummah era (Tribe, Pharcyde) then you know what I am talking about. I will try to get a good listen here and get a review up for you guys soon. If you are a fan of Dilla or anything that sounds like him go out and get this album Illa J is definitely someone to watch for.

Check out these video interviews, the videos skew a good amount of material. It’s amazing to see just how much music was really coming out of the Yancey family. No wonder J Dilla and Illa J are beasts.

Part 1

Part 2

Take a listen to the lead single:

Illa J: “We Here” (Produced by J Dilla)

Illa J to drop Yancey Boys November 4th

Posted in Music News with tags , , , , on Monday, October 27, 2008 by Tim Althaus

Well it looks like the apple definitely doesn’t fall too far from the tree. J Dilla’s little brother John “Illa J” Yancey will be putting out an album entitled Yancey Boys on Delicious Vinyl. This album will be comprised completely of Dilla beats from Delicious Vinyl’s vault that were never released. Now keep in mind that these are beats that were from roughly ’95 to ’98 when Dilla was doing remixes for Delicious Vinyl, so they are going to have more of an Ummah Era feel to them. I first found out about Illa J a little over a year ago when his Illa J EP fell into my lap (given to me by one of my friends). I remember hearing the EP and thinking “holy shit” this is straight fire. The EP was just seven short tracks long and totally made me think of Dilla when I heard it, just because Illa’s flow sounds so similar (although it’s better than Dilla’s) and the beats were just ridiculous.

I have to be quite honest, Illa J has some big shoes to fill but I think he is fully capable of holding his own. If he can keep the consistency that he had on his EP he will be an underground heavyweight. The album features guest appearances by: Guilty Simpson, (Detroit Heavyweight and formerly a frequent Dilla collaborator) Affion Crocket (whom you may remember from Nick Cannon’s Wylin Out) and “Frank Nitty” (of Frank N Dank).

Here is the official art work & tracklisting:

1. Timeless (Produced By: J. Dilla)
2. We Here (Produced By: J. Dilla)
3. R U Listenin’? (feat. Guilty Simpson) (Produced By: J. Dilla)
4. Alien Family by Frank Nitty (Produced By: J. Dilla)
5. Strugglin (Produced By: J. Dilla)
6. Showtime (Produced By: J. Dilla)
7. Swagger (Produced By: J. Dilla)
8. Mr. Shakes (Skit) aka Affion Crockett (Produced By: J. Dilla)
9. DFTF (feat. Affion Crockett) (Produced By: J. Dilla)
10. All Good (Produced By: J. Dilla)
11. Sounds Like Love (feat. Debi Nova) (Produced By: J. Dilla)
12. Everytime (Produced By: J. Dilla)
13. Illasoul (Produced By: J. Dilla)
14. Air Signs (Produced By: J. Dilla)