Maureen Yancey Produces Dilla Album
- Words: Jennifer Marston
When it comes to compiling music from artists who have passed on, none, it would seem, has a deeper vault of unreleased material to cull from than the late J Dilla. That he was ridiculously prolific we know (see his work with Slum Village, A Tribe Called Quest, and his own solo albums), but the sheer amount of projects that have sprung from Dilla beats since his death just over three years ago—the Ruff Draft re-issue and little brother Illa J’s debut solo album among them—never fails to surprise.
The next in the never-ending slew though, is something out-of-the-ordinary, as the forthcoming Jay Stay Paid album was executive-produced by Yancey's mother, Maureen. News surfaced earlier this year that Maureen, affectionately known as "Ma Dukes," is currently battling Lupus, the same disease that took her son's life in 2006. In the same manner as her son, who feverishly put the finishing touches on Donuts from his hospital room, Mrs. Yancey isn't sitting around bemoaning her condition. Rather, she commissioned Pete Rock to supervise the musical vision of Jay Stay Paid, fashioning the album to play like a radio show in which Rock acts as the program director. “Dilla wanted to pattern himself behind Pete,” says Yancey. “Pete meant everything to him. Dilla would have just been flabbergasted.”
The 25-track collection, though mostly instrumental, also features guest spots from Black Thought (The Roots), MF Doom, and M.O.P. Nature Sounds will release the album on June 2.
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