Welcome 2 Detroit is the 2001 debut solo album from Slum VillageproducerJ Dilla (aka Jay Dee). The album followed the group's critically acclaimed Fantastic, Vol. 2, and kicked off BBE's "Beat Generation" series (producer-driven albums). Welcome 2 Detroit was preceded by the 12" single "Fuck the Police", a cut which didn't make the final album although it is considered to be among his best material. The album cemented J Dilla's reputation amongst those in the know as a virtuoso beatmaker.
Welcome 2 Detroit bears the name "Jay Dee" as well as "J Dilla", and marks the first time Dilla (who up until that point was still known as Jay Dee) officially used the name J Dilla.
As the title suggests Welcome 2 Detroit is a showcase of the talent from J Dilla's hometown, introducing a pre-Slum Village Elzhi on the song "Come Get It", and making room for his longtime 1st Down partner Phat Kat on the appropriately titled "Featuring Phat Kat".
Although it is a solo album, on several cuts, such as the first single "Pause", Dilla takes a backseat and lets others command the mic. He also covers Donald Byrd's "Think Twice", singing the lead vocals (which many may assume to be Dwele, who actually sings background vocals and plays trumpet and keyboards on the track).
I fell in love with Brazilian music the day I listened to a Sérgio Mendes album. We used to have jam sessions in the studio after work was done, (and) one day my mans Karriem Riggins came through. I asked him for "Bossa nova". He gave me exactly what I needed.
On "African Rhythms", J Dilla covers the Afro beat group Oneness Of Juju's song of the same name, replaying all the instruments as well as mimicking the spoken introduction.
On the albums outro "One", J Dilla takes a moment to thank all who have helped him in the Hip-Hop industry, including Slum Village, Q-Tip and De La Soul. The Pop band 'N Sync is also mentioned, hinting to a time around the album's release where Dilla was slated to do a few beats for the act. (This collaboration never materialized.) Both the intro and outro were recorded on a hand-held microphone the night before the turn-in date. An instrumental version of the album was released on August 23, 2005.