Stepping out from the shadow of an older sibling is always hard. When that older sibling is considered by many to be the greatest Hip-Hop producer of all time that can be even harder. Detroit’s own ILLA J has taken the work of older brother, the late great J Dilla, building on it to create a sound uniquely his own while still baring the marks of the family name.
Rapper/singer/songwriter Illa J has been navigating his way through the often turbulent waters of Hip-Hop since the tender age of 13, when the he wrote his first rhyme alongside his brother. After his Dilla’s passing in ‘06, he began teaching himself piano, bass and taking vocal lessons while also touring the world and recording a slew of Dilla-related projects, notably as an active member of Slum Village until 2014. His first solo album, 2008s ‘Yancey Boys’ and the Frank Nitt 2013 collaborative album ‘Sunset BLVD’ were both released on seminal label Delicious Vinyl and featured trademark J Dilla beats.
Feeling the need for a change he moved to Montreal in 2012 making a connection with Canadian producers Nick Wisdom & AstroLogical aka Potatohead People (whose acclaimed Bastard Jazz debut album ‘Big Luxury’ featured Illa J on two singles). The success of their initial collaborations inspired the team to dive into the studio and embark on Illa J’s new self-titled solo album and present an entirely fresh sound.
Produced without any samples by Potatohead People alongside a groundbreaking co-producers, including Kaytranada, it showcases a more mature and at-ease Illa J who is equally comfortable singing on top of an electronic boogie-inspired beat as he is rhyming over a trunk rattling G-Funk.
Join us to celebrate in the next chapter of the Yancey family musical legacy as we are blessed to music old and new from the incredible Illa J.