Before Slum Village, Jay-Dee was part of a group called 1st Down which was him and Detroit Mc Phat Kat. In 1995, they signed to Payday(Jeru the Damaja, Group Home, Showbiz & AG,…). They only released a 12″ inch “A Day Wit The Homiez” in 1995. Even though they didn’t release a full album; in 2002 they re-released the single on cd with 3 bonus tracks. “A Day Wit The Homiez” has to be one of my favorite Jay-Dee track ever produced. Phat Kat dropped an album last year that contained a few beats by Dilla.
At the same time as 1st down, Jay-Dee produced for Detroit group 5 Elementz which included Proof of D12, Mudd, and Thyme. They recorded an album in 1995, “The Album That Time Forgot”. As the album was mostly produced by Jay-Dee, it reminds a lot of LabCabinCalifornia by The Pharcyde. Thyme was also featured on “Open Mic” off Eminem’s Infinite in 1996. Anyway, it’s a great album!
Also the first remix that Jay-Dee ever did was One Little Indian which came out in 1995. Then he produced 3 tracks for a group called Natives From Da Undaground. After that he would go on to produce for the Pharcyde, De La Soul, Busta Rhymes, and his group Slum Village. The rest is history!