The Diary is the sixth studio album by American hip hop recording artist J Dilla. It was originally intended for release in 2002 via MCA Records under the title Pay Jay. This long-lost album is the final batch of unissued material that J Dilla had assembled for release during his lifetime. It also represents his first rap album released since Ruff Draft (2003) and Champion Sound(2003). Unlike previous full-length releases – from Jay Stay Paid (2009) to Dillatronic (2015) – all edited with unreleased instrumentals, The Diary is a collection of Dilla's vocal performances over his production and that of other producers, such as Madlib, Pete Rock, Nottz, Hi-Tek and Karriem Riggins among others. It also features vocal performances by Snoop Dogg, Bilal, Kokane, Frank n Dank, Nottz, Kenny Wray and Boogie (not to be confused with identically named rapper Boogie). Recording sessions for the album took place from September 16, 2001 to April 2, 2002 at The Spaceship in Clinton Township and Studio A in Detroit, and it was mastered by Dave Cooley at Elysian Masters in Los Angeles.
The Diary was released posthumously on April 15, 2016 through Pay Jay Productions, Inc. in conjunction with Nas' record label, Mass Appeal Records. It was supported by the singles "The Anthem", "Diamonds", "Give Them What They Want", "The Introduction", "Gangsta Boogie", and "The Sickness", and also includes the 2001 underground classic "Fuck the Police".