Stones Throw summer: Madlib, Percee P, Tortoise

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Following a relatively quiet spring, Stones Throw Records has announced an ambitious slate of summer releases.

First up is the re-release of Jaylib’s Champion Sound. Originally released in the fall of 2003, Madlib and the late James “Jay Dee/J Dilla” Yancey’s highly anticipated collaboration drew disappointing reviews and record sales. “Few knew who or what ‘Jaylib’ was, and many of those who did felt that Champion Sound wasn’t given the attention is deserved when it was originally released,” notes the label in a press release. Much as it did with J Dilla’s Ruff Draft reissue, Stones Throw has turned the album into a two-CD set with remixes and instrumentals. With luck, its reputation will improve in light of hip-hop fans’ ongoing reassessment of J Dilla’s career. The new Champion Sound drops May 8.

For those interested in Madlib’s Invazions, the enigmatic producer is reviving his Yesterdays New Quintet pseudonym for Yesterdays Universe: Prepare for a New Yesterday, Vol. 1. The story goes that the fictional “band” (Ahmad Miller, Monk Hughes, Malik Flavors, Joe McDuphrey and Otis Jackson, Jr.) has broken up, and this is their final album. It drops July 3.

Tortoise members John McEntire, John Herndon and Dan Bitney have compiled a disc of percussive breaks called Bumps. That album comes out on June 19.

Rap legend Percee P will issue his long-awaited debut (two decades in the making!) Perseverance. The album, produced by Madlib, will include guest shots Chali 2na, Prince Po and Cut Chemist. For variety’s sake, let’s hope he doesn’t fast rap through the whole thing. Perseverance drops on August 14.

Finally, both Oh No and underrated freestyle/electro icon Arabian Prince have albums slated for release. While Oh No’s joint, an instrumental follow-up to last year’s acclaimed Exodus into Unheard Rhythms, is set for July 17, no details for Arabian Prince’s effort, a greatest hits collection, are available yet. And let’s not even get into Madvillain or Quasimoto…

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