J Dilla: Welcome 2 Detroit: The 20th Anniversary Edition (BBE) - review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Monday, March 8th, 2021  

J Dilla

Welcome 2 Detroit: The 20th Anniversary Edition


Feb 18, 2021 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

With his iconic debut album Welcome 2 Detroit, J Dilla gave listeners a full-on sonic experience of the titular city. Making a big name for himself at the time by producing for mainstream acts like Erykah Badu and Common, Dilla decided to forego guest appearances by big names, using the album to showcase the best of Detroit’s rap scene at the time and enlisting rappers like Elzhi, the duo Frank-n-Dank, Phat Kat, and Beej to flow over his beats. The spirit of Detroit is omnipresent in Dilla’s production on the album, which is heavily inspired by the city’s hip-hop, techno, and jazz scenes, throwing a handful of other genres into the mix and creating a mellifluous sonic smorgasbord that would come to define Dilla’s idiosyncratic solo production career.

This 20th Anniversary Edition 7-inch vinyl box set of Welcome 2 Detroit provides a wealth of new material for listeners. Newly remastered, the set includes the original album as well as an instrumental version, along with an array of cassette demos, alternate versions, and even remixes from DJ MURO for “Think Twice” and Brazilian jazz-funk trio Azymuth on “Rico Suave Bossa Nova.” Of particular interest are the original versions of select songs, as well as the cassette demos, both of which showcase Dilla’s production skill at its most raw and unfiltered. The book that comes with the set, which contains testimonials from Dilla’s collaborators as well as his mother, provides another inside look at what went into the making of the album. Essential for any hardcore Dilla fan, and anyone interested in the inner workings of this classic album. (www.bbemusic.com)

Author rating: 8.5/10

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Average reader rating: 5/10


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