Listen up beat-fans: a whole full-length album of J Dilla material, previously utterly unreleased. And get this: Dilla is on the MC duties here, spitting bars over productions by the likes of Madlib and Karriem Riggins. The Diary is thus a very fresh look at another side of a major hip-hop talent. On Mass Appeal.
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8/10 Andrew Customer review, 7th July 2016
More 'unreleased' J Dilla material originally releases as a Record Store Day album with a bonus 7”. You can now buy the album anyway for a few quid less, but without the 7". Kind of spoils all the 'exclusive' RSD nonsense a bit that.
Anyway, to the album, yet more music from deceased legend in the form J Dilla’s long lost vocal album, The Diary. Whilst not exactly long lost - or indeed unreleased - this is a decent album. Half the tracks will be familiar to Dilla fans - especially his ode to the police, long a favourite in the sets of the likes of Madlib and J Rocc.
Considering the tracks were recorded in 2006 they still sound pretty fresh. I'm not sure if I'm qualified to say whether that is because Dilla was so far ahead, or that current hip hop and rap is fairly moribund at least in the mainstream, however for the listener things bump along very nicely here.
Highlights for me are the stand out F*** the Police plus Diamonds and Ice with their trademark Dilla beats and unique programming. Trucks is pretty cool, though the Cars sample may become wearisome after repeat listens.
This will delight Dilla fans, please hip hop buyers and intrigue those with Catholic musical tastes.
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