BBE is commemorating the 20th anniversary of J Dilla‘s revered debut studio album Welcome 2 Detroit with a special 7” 45 vinyl box set and digital album.
The record’s 20th anniversary edition arrives with instrumentals, brand new interpretations of “Think Twice” by Azymuth and “Rico Suave Bossa Nova” by Muro, a selection of previously unreleased alternative mixes and studio outtakes that are all pressed over a collection of 12 7” records. Also joining the box set is a book written by British author and filmmaker John Vanderpuije, which serves as an oral history of the album’s making as told by Amp Fiddler, Ma Dukes and the other key musical contributors.
“I’m real happy that Welcome 2 Detroit was done by BBE. 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!” Ma Dukes said in a statement. “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!”
Welcome 2 Detroit was released by BBE on February 26, 2001 and marked the beginning of the label’s “Beat Generation” series. The record heard Dilla amplify his own voice and the voices of local rap heroes from across the city, and he fully embraced the creative freedom from the label. “Peter (Adarkwah, founder of BBE) 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,” the late producer previously said. “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!”
The Welcome 2 Detroit deluxe vinyl box set and digital album are set to drop on February 5, during the annual Dilla Month celebration.
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