In 2003, J Dilla was better known as Jay Dee, a Detroit producer who shunned publicity but was widely respected in hip-hop; Madlib was an up-and-coming L.A. producer making a name for himself with his wild diversity, from rap (Quasimoto) to electronic jazz (Yesterdays New Quintet) to remixes (Shades of Blue, Blue Note-2003).
At the time of Champion Sound’s original release in late 2003, J Dilla and Madlib had never been photographed together or appeared as a group in public. In the years that followed, this changed drastically – after Dilla’s move to Los Angeles, the two worked together, communicated through hip-hop beat tapes, and toured together as Jaylib. Madlib’s profile rose with his MF DOOM-collab Madvillain (soundscan 93k). J Dilla, though dealing with a serious illness, continued crafting material for artists such as Common and Busta Rhymes while working on a wealth of solo material. Dilla’s final albums – Donuts (Stones Throw-2006), The Shining (BBE-2006) – along with the re-issue of Ruff Draft (Stones Throw-2007) have introduced his name and music to countless new fans while publications from The Source to Rolling Stone paid respect to his musical genius.
Many felt that Champion Sound wasn’t given the attention it deserved when it was originally released. In preparing the album for reissue with b-sides, instrumentals, and later photos of the group, Madlib quietly presented the label with a collection of new Jaylib remixes. All 43 tracks are collected here together for the first time in this deluxe 2-CD set.