It’s already closing in on eight years since James Yancey, better known to everyone as J Dilla, passed away. As many of you fans know, Dilla left behind a treasure trove of unreleased music (“The Lost Scrolls”) which was evident by the many posthumous projects that have come out since. What you may not know is that Dilla was raised in a very musical family with his mother formerly being an opera singer and the senior Mr. Yancey being a jazz bassist. So naturally, the influences that rubbed off on Dilla was also rubbed off on his younger brother of 12 years, John Yancey.
Under the name Illa J, John released an album titled “Yancey Boys” in 2008, featuring production from his late brother and showed the world how talented the Yancey Boys can be as a tandem. Just like his brother, Illa J is multi-talented, meaning he can write, sing, play instruments and rap at a high level. A series of events led to Illa J recording a track with Frank Nitt (of Frank n Dank) which slowly evolved into a full-fledge album and group, Yancey Boys. We recently had the opportunity to talk to Illa J and Frank to discuss the album and carrying on the legacy of the late J Dilla. Take a look inside.
The Yancey Boys’s (Frank Nitt & Illa J) “Sunset Blvd” album will be released next week on Tuesday, October 29th via Delicious Vinyl. The album is entirely produced by the late, J. Dilla, after a group of unheard beat tapes were discovered, never heard by the general public and used to help craft the album spearheaded by both Frank Nitt and Illa J. The album features guest appearances from Common, Talib Kweli, Posdnuos of De La Soul, Guilty Simpson, J. Rocc and others.
Stay on topic.Not the easiest of tasks these days. The artwork for Black Milk's sixth solo effort—hand-drawn by Dallas illustrator Joonbug—speaks to the dark and chaotic times we're living through. Milk goes full concept on this, the first release from his own imprint, Computer Ugly.During the hazy turn-of-the-millennium days, artists, businesses, etc. developed the concept of a web presence. Now, we're wondering if there's any actual humanity left on the other side of the interface. The phrase "Computer Ugly" evokes this notion while the album speaks to the forgotten recesses of the Motor City, which in itself is a snapshot of American decline.
On October 29th, Delicious Vinyl will release the second Yancey Boys album entitled “Sunset Blvd.” Consisting of Illa J (J. Dilla’s younger brother) and Frank Nitt (Frank N Dank), the album features production entirely from the late, J. Dilla, featuring a new batch of beats that was recently unearthed. The album features Common, T3, Talib Kweli, Posdnuos of De La Soul, Guilty Simpson, J. Rocc, DJ Rhettmatic and others. As Frank Nitt states, “We created an album that would make Dilla proud. But this isn’t a nostalgia trip: Dilla’s beats were so future-forward that they’re right on time in 2013, and we’ve assembled the best artists possible to represent that.”
J Dilla’s “Sunset Blvd” instrumental beats will be also included on Digital, CD and Vinyl formats.
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