Listen to one of the first commercially available releases from J Dilla and Phat Kat (audio)
I always love hearing the humble beginnings of an artist, and 1st Down, Jay Dee’s partnership with Detroit rapper Phat Kat and Dilla on beats, is definitely that. Released in 1995, before the release of Slum Village Fantastic Vol. 1, it has all the signatures of Dilla’s early work: jazzy keys, punctuating bass, and of course, drums to die for. Phat Kat also does a great job over these early Jay Dee productions, spinning tales about just hanging out with friends, and avoiding getting involved in stupid, unnecessary feuding. Highly recommended if you want to hear how far Dilla’s sound has come, but still some good hip-hop nonetheless.