Welcome 2 Detroit the critically acclaimed debut album by James Dewitt Yancey better known as J Dilla celebrates its 20th anniversary, since its release February 26, 2001 by BBE music.The album would truly cement his reputation as one of the great hip hop soul music producers, arriving at the perfect time, based on the rise and rise of J. Dilla, after producing for artists like Erykah Badu, D’Angelo and Common.
Dilla’s debut solo album Welcome 2 Detroit saw many expecting features by big name artists based on his collaboration history. However, being true to the Album title, he chose to showcase his own rap voice and the best of Detroit’s rap scene at the time, selecting Elzhi, Phat Kat, Beej and rap duo Frank-n-Dank to rhyme over his beats.
“…So I wanted to put people on there who are gonna spit y’know, lyrically and represent Detroit. Because I wouldn’t have been able to pull this album off if it came from a major label. Cos they’re not gonna let you just do a song or instrumental. You gotta have this feature and you’re JayDee, why aint you got Erykah Badu? Why aint you got so and so on your album? I’d have to go through all of that, instead of just putting Beej on this joint” – J.Dilla
Welcome 2 Detroit provided listeners with the spirit of Detroit, painted by Dilla’s musical brushstrokes, inspired by a cities hip hop, techno, jazz scenes, woven together to create what we know as signature sounds of J.Dilla today. The album sparked a producer led Beat Generation album series, releasing classic LP’s by DJ Jazzy Jeff, Dj Spinna, Pete Rock and Will.i.am all feeling inspired to up their creative craft after listening to Welcome 2 Detroit. The album would also be the first time JayDee unveiled the name J. Dilla
LISTEN WELCOME 2 DETROIT 20th Anniversary Edition
To commemorate the milestone of Welcome 2 Detroit, a special anniversary edition of the album dropped February 5th 2021, featuring X 12 7”vinyl box set and digital formats of unreleased new material by Dj Muro and Azymuth.
It truly made sense to release when they did, as the 7th and 10th February represent the birth and death date of the late producer, who’s legacy is celebrated each year with an annual Dilla Fest over this time. So despite the Covid 19 pandemic preventing music promoters, night club DJ’s pay respect to life of Dilla, The James Yancey Foundation decided to host the first Virtual Dilla Festival online. So check out all the virtual Dilla tributes below….
WATCH DILLA FEST DIGITAL 2021
DJ Spinna Closing Set For Dilla Fest 2021
WATCH DJ JAZZY JEFF ‘s DILLA TRIBUTE (FEB 6, 2021)