Illa J is dropping tomorrow his second album through Jakarta Records, following the successful Home project from last year. John Yancey is also the second part of the collaboration with LA-based producer Calvin Valentine, who once again produces the entire LP. While Home was largely inspired by Illa’s native city of Detroit, John Yancey focuses on his time in California.
As Illa J said, the John Yancey project is more personal than all of his albums made before, talking about the ups and downs of all his relationships over the past 10 years, still grieving about the death of his brother, J Dilla. While the story of the album might have changed, there are certain continuities as well, built around the strong foundation of the combination of Illa’s voice and Calvin Valentine’s soulful sample based production. The previous album already saw Illa J incorporate more singing into his raps and he goes down this path even further.
John Yancey is a more polished LP, as opposed to Home, which was purposely rough around the edges. Still, the production remains soulful and rich with layers to leave things interesting for the listener. Out tomorrow and available on vinyl, John Yancey is another tasteful release coming from Jakarta Records.