On this day, Feb. 27, in hip-hop history...


2001: On Feb. 27, 2001, J Dilla dropped his debut solo album, Welcome 2 Detroit. In the mid to late 1990's, the famed producer and Slum Village founder worked behind the scenes, facilitating hits for the likes of De La Soul, Erykah Badu, Common and A Tribe Called Quest. But in 2001, Jay Dee decided to come out from behind the boards and put on for his city with Welcome 2 Detroit.

The 16-track album featured fellow Detroit MC's Elzhi and Phat Kat and showed off many of J Dilla's musical influences from Brazilian jazz to hardcore hip-hop. The album was spearheaded by the single, "Pause" which features Detroit hip-hop duo Frank-n-Dank but also features strong assists from the likes of Big Tone, Blu and more.

Welcome 2 Detroit didn't chart on Billboard, but was definitely well received by the hip-hop community as solidifying J's beat-making abilities. J Dilla would go on to release an instrumental album in 2002 called Vol. 1 Unreleased, a 2003 EP called Ruff Draft and his ninth studio album, Donuts, in 2006 just days before his untimely death.

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