The best endorsement for Detroit-based rapper Guilty Simpson is that the late, great producer J Dilla was an avid fan and friend. Despite Dilla’s 2006 passing, Guilty Simpson—born Byron Simpson—still got all-star production from Madlib on last year’s album O.J. Simpson. That record—his sophomore LP—ushered in wide acclaim for the gruff MC, who evokes a harder edge than many of his backpacker peers. Simpson’s bars are decidedly street, but with a keen sense of humor laced throughout. Think Gang Starr crossed with a less-bizarre MF Doom. Simpson is currently prepping a follow-up to O.J. Simpson—titled O.J. Simpson 2, mystifyingly—with a 2011 release date to be announced.