Jay Stay Paid - J Dilla aka Jay Dee
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Jay Stay Paid's biggest strengths don't lie in its guest roster, impressive as it is. It's the way these reconstructed, reassembled beats so vividly show off how left-field he was willing to get in the service of finding new ways to make a beat knock.
  2. This might be the last material we hear from Dilla that echoes the endlessly fascinating turn his music was taking before his passing, and it couldn’t be constructed more appealingly, its jittery creativity augmented by one of Dilla’s esteemed contemporaries, himself a fan and close friend.
  3. This collection of unreleased material is uneven, tossing in undercooked instrumentals alongside tracks with MCs like Black Thought.
  4. 60
    With peaks and valleys, Stay Paid is patchwork, but Dilla's brilliance remains stunningly apparent.
  5. The result is less a mixtape than a hip-hop version of a good Augustus Pablo album--more varied, jocular, and disquieting because that's how hip-hop is, but still a single organism.
  6. Years of being disregarded, underrated and criticized may have hurt Dilla's feelings but those who would regret that will feel no shame now knowing every barb thrown his way only made Dilla that much doper as a producer--to the point his posthumous albums are now better than what most living cats make today.
  7. A record that not only tops any solo offering that the late James Yancey released during his lifetime, but also rivals Slum Village’s “Fantastic Part 2” and his own “Donuts” as his finest full-length effort.
  8. Posthumous projects are often ethically iffy, but the presence of Dilla’s hero Pete Rock as musical supervisor should reassure fans that Paid is about celebration rather than exploitation of Dilla’s life and legacy.
  9. 90
    Jay Stay Paid is a smooth hip hop ride. It is an effort that should be applauded and J-Dilla is a producer whose contributions will be appreciated from years to come. This album is another piece of evidence that testifies to that truth.
  10. While it is neither as monumental as "Donuts" nor as exemplary as the "Dillanthology" discs, Jay Stay Paid is close to a must for any casual Dilla admirer.
  11. Similar to UGK's "4 Life" earlier this year Dilla's friends, family, and admirers have created a(nother) great tribute to one of hip-hop's great.
  12. It’s no "Donuts," but it’s definitely another solid entry in the Dilla canon and a reminder of how lucky fans are to have another beat tape this valuable in the absence of the man himself.
  13. Rounding out his catalog, Jay Stay Paid makes a worthy addition to any hip-hop aficionado’s collection.
  14. Though much of Dilla’s later works were quick jots, Jay Stay Paid sounds too much like the unrevised pages of a journal.
  15. J$P‘s strengths might outweigh its weaknesses, but it’s just not enough. Also, this album feels far too long at a mere 60 minutes’ runtime.

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