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Happy Birthday J Dilla!!

Photo by B+
Photo by B+

Today marks what would have been the 37th birthday of beloved hip-hop/soul producer J Dilla.

For those of you that are new to J Dilla... Welcome to the rest of your life! I promise it won't ever be the same.

Just a brief swipe from J Dilla's wiki bio:

"James Dewitt Yancey (February 7, 1974 – February 10, 2006),[1] better known by the stage names J Dilla and Jay Dee, was an American record producer who emerged from the mid-1990s underground hip hop scene in Detroit, Michigan. According to his obituary at, he "was one of the music industry's most influential hip-hop artists, working for big-name acts like A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Busta Rhymes and Common."[2]

Yancey's career began slowly. He has now become highly regarded, most notably for the production of critically acclaimed albums by Common, Busta Rhymes, A Tribe Called Quest, The Pharcyde, and Erykah Badu. He was a member of Slum Village and produced their acclaimed debut album Fan-Tas-Tic (Vol. 1) and their follow-up Fantastic, Vol. 2.[1]

In the early 2000s, Yancey's career as a solo artist began to improve; A solo album Welcome 2 Detroit was followed by a collaborative album with California producer Madlib, Champion Sound, which catalyzed the careers of both artists. Just as his music was becoming increasingly popular, Yancey died in 2006 of the blood disease TTP.

Following J Dilla's death, the hip hop community became centered upon his music and image.[3] Many of the artists with whom Yancey worked performed or recorded tributes, and a large group of followers voiced their support for the late musician. Yancey's music experienced a rebirth as the producer gained many times more listeners than he had during his life, partly due to media exposure."

Since his passing there have been many tributes all over the world to J Dilla in every form fashion you can think of, from

apparel, to fanclub wesites, to a foundation, and even a certified course to study his music at the collegiate level.

There are so many ways I could go on about what this day means to an entire genre of music fans, but I'd like to highlight some of the awesome things I've come across today from other sources.

Check out these links when you can Enjoy!!

In The Quotes: Rare Form, “Donuts Are Forever” J Dilla Tribute

J Dilla- Still Shining |

BK Booth- Donuts Are Forever 5

Berklee Professor Brian "Raydar" Ellis discusses his course, the J Dilla Ensemble group

Dwele- Workinonit


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