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Nas Announces Posthumous J Dilla Album 'The Diary,' Debuts 'The Introduction': Listen

With the recent 10th anniversary of J Dilla's death and his classic project Donuts, Nas and Mass Appeal Records are (finally) gifting the rapper/producer's long-awaited album The Diary.

The Queens rapper made the announcement on Zane Lowe's Beats 1 radio show and also delivered a new Dilla record called "The Introduction." Listen below:

J Dilla's estate creative director Eothen "Egon" Alapatt told Rolling Stone that The Diary -- initially slated to drop via MCA Records in 2002 -- is "the last record that he actually wanted out -- i.e., he said, in his own words, this record should come out during his lifetime. The last one."

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Egon -- who oversaw the production of The Diary -- also explained the lengthy delay. "Just unpacking the files, finding the software that he used, getting it again, because at that point it was already archaic, unpacking the files so that we can actually look at them, took years," he said. "Literally years. Bear in mind, we were able to get some low-hanging fruit earlier than we were able to get others, that's how the Ruff Draft record with the instrumentals and unreleased tracks were able to come out. That was easy to find. It was really well labeled. The record had already come out, so we had a reference point, you know what I'm saying? It was quite simple. This record was a pain in the f---ing ass."

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The Diary boasts a slew of features including Snoop Dogg, Bilal, Kokane, Frank and Dank, Nottz and Boogie, over production helmed by Dilla, Madlib, Pete Rock, Hi-tek, Nottz, House Shoes, Supa Dave West, Bink! and Karriem Riggins.

The beloved beatsmith/MC (born James Yancey) died in 2006 at the age of 32 following a public battle with lupus. The relaunched PayJay Records imprint in conjunction with Mass Appeal will release The Diary on April 15.


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