Every now and then there will be an album by a deceased artist that is actually worth releasing after they are deceased. This is rare. “The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory” album by 2 Pac was a worthy release that seemed incredibly coherent and untouched with any type of shady production. Most albums from stars that have passed on simply retouched projects where people labels are trying to make money off the deceased. The J-Dilla “Diary” project could have come off in this way, but this previously lost album surprises as a strong testament to the strength of J-Dilla’s production skills. There is a full length album with lots of guest stars. There is also an instrumental version of the album – in true Dilla fashion – floating around as well.
The album has been touched up for the sake of preserving what was previously incomplete. Pete Rock and Madlib lend a hair to the production process. This album shows that the hip hop world lost someone great when J-Dilla died. He was truly building up a legacy as a producer that seemed to do the impossible on the boards. J-Dilla was underrated, but he was bound to get his props if he would have continued to produce such stellar gems for artists like Common and a Tribe Called Quest.
There are a lot of people that are still discovering J-Dilla for the first time because they are digging through crates of older hip hop songs. “The Diary” explores a time when J-Dilla was in place to piece together old school funk and soulful sounds for a lot of artists that wanted his sound.