For the DJ's Spinning Vinyl, Beat Diggers, Hip Hop Culture, Vinyl (Record) Junkies, Fashion & Lifestyle.
Illa J - “We Here” Produced by J Dilla | First single from forthcoming Yancey Boys LPThe Song:
Delicious Vinyl is proud to release the debut single by Illa J: “We Here” b/w “R U Listenin” featuring Guilty Simpson. Both tracks are produced by the legendary late producer Jay Dee (aka J Dilla), Illa J’s older brother.
“We Here” is all sizzle and gleam as Illa J ad-libs his mission statement: “Yancey Boys from Detroit, Michigan…comin’ for that number one spot…’bout to rock the world!” Over the previously unheard Dilla track (from a cache of Jay Dee beats held in safety for a decade by Delicious Vinyl founder Michael Ross) Illa J’s soulful tenor delivers the hook: “We poppin’ bottles like it’s first day of the year.” Illa J confirms the feeling: “Somebody could be in a hoopty but the Jay Dee beat sound so good it make them feel like they riding in a Phantom.”
Illa J: “‘We Here’ is a celebration of waking up every day. Why not live out your dreams, why not try?” Of the lyric “Let’s go crazy/ You saw Purple Rain” Illa J explains: “It’s like Prince asking ‘Are we gonna let the elevator break us down?’ Naw, let’s go all out! One of the things I learned from my brother is that you don’t get that much time, so make the most of it. That’s why I’ve decided to dedicate my life to doing what I love: music.”
“R U Listenin” is a thumpadelic tribute to Detroit featuring Stones Throw recording artist Guilty Simpson, Illa and Guilty trading hot verses “sending love to the 313.” Of the collaboration, Guilty Simpson exclaims: “Illa J is a young talent in his own right with many dimensions - a real force who’s obviously the product of great stock!”
Delicious Vinyl’s Michael Ross: “Anyone who loves Jay Dee is going to flip out when they hear how young Illa J represents for the Yancey family. For over a decade these beats have been waiting in the vault for this moment. It’s like Jay Dee made these tracks with an extrasensory purpose, so that Illa J could rap and sing over them when the time was right. Well, it’s that time. It’s the Yancey Boys baby!”
John "Illa J" Yancey, younger brother of late great genius producer James Yancey (AKA Jay Dee AKA J Dilla), is currently completing his debut album for Delicious Vinyl. With the multi-talented Illa J rhyming and singing over a treasure trove of previously untouched Jay Dee gems, the project represents both a full-circle collaboration and a whole new beginning in the story of the musically exceptional Yancey brothers.
When Jay Dee passed away from complications relating to lupus in February 2006, he left behind an extraordinary legacy of production work, including hits for Common, Janet Jackson, and Busta Rhymes. One mother lode of previously untouched beats dates from his time working on the Pharcyde's sophomore LP, Labcabincalifornia (Delicious Vinyl, 1995). As Delicious Vinyl owner and founder Michael "Mike Floss" Ross explains: "From '95 through '98 Jay Dee was my go-to guy for hot beats and remixes. He was always making beats, always. So there was a select amount of tracks that he composed for me during that time, tracks as good as anything he'd done, only they never got used. When I finally met Illa J last year, I gave him a CD containing those unreleased beats."
It was a case of pure serendipity, since 21-year-old Illa J had just relocated to Los Angeles and constructed a studio built around Jay Dee's own recording equipment, dubbing it Yancey Boy Studios in tribute to their fraternal bond. "Dilla was twelve years older than me," Illa J says. "So back in the day in Detroit I was just a little kid, sitting on the stairs in our house, watching him make those first beats for Slum Village. So I always felt my brother's tracks and had an instinct for what I wanted to do over them."
When Illa J set to work in early '08 on recording the album, the project flowed quickly as he entered the proverbial can't-miss zone. As Illa J says: "One of the things I learned from my brother is that you don't get that much time, so make the most of it. That's why I've decided to dedicate my life to doing what I love: music. To work with Mike Floss and Delicious Vinyl, the label that released those hits my brother made with The Pharcyde ["Runnin'" and "Drop"] is really special."
As Michael Ross says: "Illa J can write, sing, play instruments and rap. Not just a little bit of each — he's really the complete package! And anyone who loves Jay Dee's music is going to flip out when they hear what Illa J's been laying down. For over a decade these beats have been waiting in the vault for this moment. It's like Jay Dee made these tracks with an extrasensory purpose, so that Illa J could make this album. There is no question that this is exactly what they were meant for. These beats belong to Illa J, they're his birthright, and I really believe Jay Dee would be proud of what his brother is doing."*Now playing...Illa J-"We Here" from the Upcoming "Yancey Boys"*Purchase The EP Right Now!*myspace.com/illajmusic