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As the underground’s most lauded producer for the new ’00 decade, Jay Dee’s star seems to rise on the daily. I’ve never quite understood what the huge attraction is – he sounds great but he’s not doing anything that Pete Rock, DJ Premier, and Diamond D  didn’t figure out a decade ago. Then again, considering the paucity of strong, sample-based production these days, I should be damn happy that any beatmaker continues to come with work as consistent as Dilla. These two 12″s on Fat Beats should only improve his track record, especially with the throbbing funk feel of “Everybody Get Up!” and the languid vibe of “Love”. Compared to his more organic and mechanic work for Common and Q-Tip respectively, Jay Dee’s tracks here are stripped down to the basics of crackling breakbeats and sampler-stretched loops. The problem is that Jay Dee still seems to have bad taste in MCs. Frank N Dank, plus Phat Kat and Jay Dee himself turn in a quartet of uninspired, stuttering verses that are as awkward as most of the Slum Village album. I mean, what are you supposed to do with: “right now drop your top/floss your rocks/I’m a switch a few lanes/while she give me brains”? Which JD are we talking about here? Jermaine Dupri or Jay Dee? “Everybody Get Up” is at least effective as a party anthem but the other three songs leave little to be desired for save the instrumentals.

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