J Dilla, “The Diary”

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The Diary

The last time we got a taste of the late producer J Dilla‘s unreleased treasure was 2015’s Dillatronic and its track assortment of sizzling beats and bleeps. The Diary is another animal altogether: a 2002 vocal album (and one that sounds as if it comes from the early twenty-first Century) featuring the likes of Philly blue-jazz vocalist Bilal and Cali weed god Snoop Dogg, along with Dilla’s own raps.

Snoop does his wriggly usual on “Gangsta Boogie,” with an assist from a numbed-up Kokane, but you’ll come to The Diary for Dilla—and stay there. The man behind the beats of Common and Erykah Badu goes for a robo-flow on the new wave-y “Drive Me Wild,” gets rubber-band elastic on the synth-souped-up “The Introduction,” and finds himself in full-blown barking preacher mode on “Fuck the Police.”


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