Jay Stay Paid is an album from the late hip hop musician J Dilla, mixed like a radio show by Pete Rock. It is a posthumous album, but is his fourth album overall. It was released June 2, 2009 on Nature Sounds. Despite the fact that the album has contributing vocals from several artists, it is roughly classified as an instrumental hip hop album.
The album is a 28 track collection of unreleased Dilla beats mixed and arranged by Pete Rock. Although Jay Stay Paid is mostly instrumental, it includes guests vocals from several artists that Dilla worked with or admired, such as Black Thought, Havoc, Raekwon, MF DOOM, and M.O.P. It was executive produced by Dilla’s mother Maureen "Ma Dukes" Yancey along with the musical supervision of Dilla’s musical idol, Pete Rock. In regard to the album's feel and direction Ma Dukes stated:
It wasn’t rushed and it wasn’t haphazard. This album combines what he did in the beginning of his career, what he did in some of our early hospital stays, which was very deep, and some stuff pulled from old floppy disks & DATs. It's mind blowing... this is like the missing links to Dilla’s legacy.
Art Direction and illustrations for Jay Stay Paid were contributed by world renowned graphic artist Mike Orduna (Fatoe) for Fatoe.com.
In promotion for the album, the Beat Junkies released a free sampler of the album.
The format of the album plays like a radio show with Pete Rock as the program director. With regards to Pete’s involvement, Ms. Yancey gets very excited, “Dilla wanted to pattern himself behind Pete. His dream was to become as close as possible to what Pete stood for. Pete meant everything to him. Dilla would have just been flabbergasted! ” Pete’s sentiments were the same toward Dilla, “Dude was amazing. He just kinda came outta nowhere and the more you heard his beats the better they got. He may not be here with us, but it’s all good we’re going to keep his music alive and well.”
In the 1990s, Dilla founded the rap group Slum Village and put Detroit hip-hop on the map, while also playing a major role in the production team The Ummah with Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammad doing extensive work on Tribe Called Quest’s last two albums.
The album debuted at the No. 96 on the Billboard charts with a total of 5,400 copies sold in its first week.