Jay Dee’s participation in Ummah revealed a familiar theme surrounding his music and legacy. That was his lack of exposure. He rocked at a time, in the 90’s when the producer name was just as important as the artist they were producing. But when I look at that period in Hip Hop his name doesn’t jump out like DJ.Premier, Rza, Timbaland or Dr. Dre.
J Dilla shared that much in a past interview speaking on his tenure at Ummah. “After about a year, I got to the point where everybody thought Q-Tip did the beats that he rhymed on and the remixes and things. I did interviews and they was like ‘Tip this and that….and I’m like yo I did that,’ after a while it became frustrating, which led to tension and complaints. For instance Trackmasters were the people on top at the time, killing it! It so happened we actually had the same management, but it was kinda like we didn’t have the same exposure.”
On the other hand it was J Dilla willingness “to let the music speak for itself” that catapulted him to one of the most sought out producers in the early 2000’s .Officially leaving the group Slum Village in 2002, J Dilla producing for a slew of artist that included Dwele, De La Soul, Q-Tip, Common, D’Angelo, The Roots and Erykah Badu to name a few culminated a sound that is commonly referred to as “Neo-soul”