New Video: The Dream Collaboration: J. Dilla, Nas and Madlib Team Up On a Long-Lost Single and Video

Much ink — both real and virtual — has been spilled on the work of the legendary J. Dilla, so delving deeply into his backstory will seem highly unnecessary — but what I will say is that J. Dilla is arguably one of hip-hop’s most beloved and influential artists and producers, with the bulk of his work sill sounding as fresh and as inventive as it did when it was originally released during the late 90s and early 00s. And although most famously known as a producer and beatmaker, towards the end of his life and career, Dilla was beginning to step out from a behind the scenes role and take the mic as an emcee — including this collaboration with Madlib “The Sickness,” which pairs Dilla’s braggadocio-filled bars with Madlib production consisting of a twisting and turning synth sample and boom bap drum programming.

Initially meant to be on Dilla’s The Diary, “The Sickness” wound up being unreleased and un-finished; that tis until Nas offered to recored a verse to complete the single in as close of a fashion to what Dilla would have liked and it appears a bonus track to a re-ssiue of J. Dilla’s The Diary.