Illa J – Yancey Boys

So Album Release Toozday was put on hold due to historic ass events.  I don’t know if it was a good thing or a bad thing to release an album yesterday???

Anyways, kickin off albums released Nov. 4, 2008, we got , The Yancey Boys Album released by the Legendary J Dilla‘s little brother Illa J.  The album is produced entirely by the late J. Dilla from beats created during his time at Delicious Vinyl, in the 95′-99′ era [think Pharcyde cuts Drop or Runnin–CLASSICS].  Contrary to earlier reviews and articles on Illa J’s debut, this album is not about stepping out of his legendary brother’s shadow, but it’s about shining light on one of the greatest producers of our time.  The album is titled  Yancey Boys by Illa J; not ‘Illa J ‘ by Illa J and that’s the point that we’re missing.  But regardless of all of that–how does it sound?

Illa J  – Timeless [produced by J Dilla]

<<Video and Tracks after the jump>>

The album opens with, “Timeless”, the first notes of a piano play a soulful melody against Dilla drums and his trademark use of bass. Illa J, sangs!!! Who knew that boy could sang? He good. Reminiscent of his Detroit counterpart Dwele or a low pitched D’Angelo from back in the day, the track sets a mellow tone for the rest of the album. Yes indeed, these beats take you back to to that late 90’s era where Neo-Soul had just gotten a name and the Soulquarians dominated my Discman [ha]. But don’t get me wrong, the beauty of this album and this music, for that matter, is Timeless.

Illa J – All Good [produced by J Dilla]

When Illa J actually does rap, he holds his own against guests like Guilty Simpson [BEAST.] Lyrically he stands out on tracks like “Strugglin'”, “Swagger”, “Everytime” and “All Good”.  Illa J still has a lot of work to do, but his flow won’t disappoint. He reels it in and doesn’t rap against the mellow beats. An interlude by Frank Nitty and “Air Signs” remind you of what this album is about. Illa J and J Dilla, 2 brothers-2 Siblings on an album. All in all this album is truly a must have for Dilla fans. But it is also a must have for new Illa J fans, he’s very talented and I feel like this is just the tip of the iceberg with him.

J Dilla – “Won’t Do” off of The Shining [2006], [Illa J performing as Jay Dee]