Producer: J Dilla
Album: Champion Sound
Label: Stones Throw Records
Jaylib was a hip-hop purist's wet dream. Pairing Dilla's Detroit funk with spacey West Coast underground stalwart Madlib was the stuff of hip-hop heaven. Champion Sound, released on Stones Throw in October of 2003, was the one and only collaborative album between the duo.
The two first linked up when Beat Junkie DJ Rocc passed Madlib a Jay Dee instrumental CD in 2000, to which Mad began recording under the moniker Jaylib. Dilla returned the favor, agreeing to rap over Madlib beats, and thus the project was conceived.
After a handful of setbacks, bootlegs and scheduling conflicts (the two only met a couple times prior to release), Champion Sound was finally released to great critical acclaim. The real standout on the album, however, was “Starz,” which took Dilla's traditional boom-bap sound and merged it with the contemporary sped-up soul samples made popular by Kanye West and Just Blaze.
Although, Madlib's vocals are somewhat drowned out by Dilla's monstrous production, it's clear the real star on “Starz,” was Dilla's beat. Starcastle never sounded so good.