In Spring 2013, the Estate of James Yancey revived J Dilla’s Pay Jay Productions as a functioning imprint and announced its release of Dilla’s long lost vocal album, The Diary, with the first Pay Jay single “Anthem.”
“Diamonds & Ice” is the second single, a 7-track 12-inch EP slated for August 27th.
ON SALE: J DILLA – DIAMONDS & ICE 12-inch EP
This EP contains what might be the two best known tracks from The Diary – one leaked years ago in the form of a low-bit MP3, and another as a short-lived promotional single. These versions – both final and alternate mixes – come straight from mixed-down masters that Dilla himself created.
Long before his posthumous album The Shining (2006), J Dilla titled these two tracks “The Shining Pt. 1″ and “The Shining Pt. 2.” “Diamonds (The Shining Pt. 1)” was produced Nottz, and “Ice (The Shining Pt. 2)” was produced by Madlib, who Dilla would later collaborate with under the group name Jaylib. The Diamonds & Ice EP contains two markedly different versions of “Ice,” with one showing the musical direction Dilla would embark on after The Diary was shelved in 2002.
Rounding out this EP is a Madlib instrumental that J Dilla secured for the album but never turned into the final song, titled “The D.” We’ve included this beat as a hint of what could have been.
The Estate of James Yancey is administered by attorney Alex Borden and overseen by the Probate Court of the State of California on behalf of Yancey’s four heirs – his mother, Maureen “Madukes” Yancey, his brother John “Illa J” Yancey and his two daughters, Ja’Mya Yancey and Ty-monae Whitlow.