Wednesday April 25, 2018

Illa J "Showtime" Press Release
Posted by Steve Juon at Saturday, December 20th, 2008 at 3:00AM :: Email this article :: Print this article

From Audible Treats:

Illa J - "Showtime"      12.16.2008
"It's yo' time / It's showtime"

The Song:

"Showtime" evokes images of a smoke-filled lounge, like a scene from a swanky black-and-white movie. But rest assured, this is no dusty joint of yore. Illa J and J Dilla take a different approach and update this scene for the present day with big talk and stylistic swagger. Dilla's jazzy beat sets the mood for this track with Illa crooning and rapping along. Despite the complicated rhythm of Dilla's production, Illa J doesn't miss a beat with his rhyme scheme and takes the track to hypnotic heights in the hazy, chromatic chorus.

The Background:

When Jay Dee passed away from complications relating to lupus in February 2006, he left behind an extraordinary legacy of production work, including hits for Common, Janet Jackson, and Busta Rhymes. One mother lode of previously untouched beats dates from his time working on the Pharcyde's sophomore album, Labcabincalifornia (Delicious Vinyl, 1995). As Delicious Vinyl owner and founder Michael "Mike Floss" Ross explains: "From '95 through '98 Jay Dee was my go-to guy for hot beats and remixes. He was always making beats, always. So there was a select amount of tracks that he composed for me during that time, tracks as good as anything he'd done, only they never got used. When I finally met Illa J last year, I gave him a CD containing those unreleased beats."

In a case of pure serendipity, 21 year-old Illa J had just relocated from Detroit to Los Angeles and constructed a studio built using Jay Dee's recording equipment. He dubbed it Yancey Boys Studios in tribute to their fraternal bond. "Dilla was 12 years older than me," Illa J says. "So back in the day in Detroit I was just a little kid, sitting on the stairs in our house, watching him make those first beats for Slum Village. I always felt my brother's tracks and had an instinct for what I wanted to do over them." When Illa J set to work in early '08 recording the album, the project flowed quickly as he entered the proverbial can't miss zone. The name of the studio rightly became the title of the finished album, Yancey Boys, which is available online and in stores everywhere on Delicious Vinyl Records.

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"DFTF" featuring Affion Crockett
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Illa J & Aaron LaCrate freestyle
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