J Dilla‘s seminal album Welcome 2 Detroit officially dropped in February of 2001, meaning it’s nearing it’s 20th anniversary. To celebrate, J Dilla’s label is reissuing the LP with some exclusive add-ons.
Not only will Welcome 2 Detroit—The 20th Anniversary Edition feature all of Dilla’s original songs, but it also boasts some reworked tracks. It is slated to feature a remix of “Think Twice” by Japanese DJ/producer Muro and a cover of “Rico Suave Bossa Nova” by Azymuth. Alternate versions of Dilla songs and work-in-progress recordings from his studio sessions will also appear on the reissue.
To accompany the LP, UK writer and filmmaker John Vanderpuije penned a book which offers an oral history of the Welcome 2 Detroit creative process. For the story’s timeline, Vanderpuije interviewed Dilla’s mother, Maureen “Ma Dukes” Yancey, and all of the album’s pivotal contributors.
Yancey praised BBE for their work on the reissue in a statement. “I’m real happy that Welcome 2 Detroit was done by BBE,” she said. “Because I don’t think another label would have helped him embrace his full creativity and given him the control to make it a piece of who he was! Because of BBE he was able to pour more of himself into it, into every bit of music on this album. His spirit lives in Welcome 2 Detroit. It’s him! Alive and thriving in every song!”
At the time of the album’s release, Dilla gave a shout-out to BBE’s founder Peter Adarkwah for letting him have full creative control of the project:
“Peter let me do whatever I wanted to do. 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 out under a major. Cos they’re not gonna let you just do a song or you can’t just do an instrumental. You gotta have this feature and you’re Jay Dee, why ain’t you got Erykah Badu? Why ain’t you got so and so on your album? I’d have had to go through all of that, instead of just putting out…y’know, Beej on this joint!”
Welcome 2 Detroit—The 20th Anniversary Edition is out 2/21 via BBE Music. Pre-order it here.