With the sheer volume of posthumously released material staking its claim to the musical legacy of late hip-hop producer J Dilla, one can take a cynical view that this is just another symptom of labels cannibalizing an outstanding music talent (in life and in death) for all that they're worth, and sometimes much more. In Dilla's case, well-intentioned memorial assemblages such as THE SHINING (2006) and RUFF DRAFT (2007) were less cohesive musical statements than fleeting sketches by an artist in a hurry to fix every wayward idea before they slipped away from the memory banks. Lovingly assembled by esteemed beatsmith Pete Rock and executive produced by Dilla's mother, Maureen "Ma Dukes" Yancey, JAY STAY PAID can in some ways be considered the definitive J Dilla album, being every bit equal in quality to the producer's 2005 swan song, DONUTS. The mostly instrumental album, a third of which features familiar Dilla collaborators such as Black Thought and MF Doom, is a fully-formed collection encompassing everything from his late-`90s beats for the Ummah collective to works put together during his final days in a hospital bed.
CMJ - "The dirty rawness that made the producer so favored during his lifetime seeps through the album, which includes beats culled from Dilla's early years right up through his hospital time."
XXL (Magazine) (p.98) - "JAY STAY PAID is yet another tour de force of crate digging from Jay Dee that's tailor-made for headphones."
Pitchfork (Website) - "[I]t puts a new piece of Dilla's musical legacy in good hands and creates a life-spanning statement in a way that previous memorial assemblages like 2006's THE SHINING could only hint at."