James DeWitt Yancey, aka Jay Dee, aka J Dilla, was an artist to those who worked with him.. but also a son, a father, a mentor, and a friend, with a vision that exceeded the world of music.
Being involved with legendary hip hop group Slum Village and being the focal point of many artists’ successful records, J Dilla has undoubtedly left an imprint in the history of music.
Having worked with artists such as Talib Kweli, Common, Q-Tip, Erykah Badu, Mos Def, De La Soul, The Roots, A Tribe Called Quest, plus many more, there’s obvious traces of Dilla’s influence in many individuals’ work.
“When radio was a freer space and played music that people liked instead of what people paid for, the music that we heard was created by somebody in their basement being a mad scientist. Jay is a throwback to that time. He’s the guy in the basement,” said DJ Jazzy Jeff.
J Dilla continues to contribute his wisdom and inspiration to his listeners and fans even today, with a new Donut shop by his Uncle named ‘Dilla’s Delights’ opening up this Fall in downtown Detroit and with an exciting album release of over forty of his instrumentals titled “Dillatronic.”
The album can be pre-ordered here, and will also be available October 30th as a triple-vinyl set, on compact disc, along with a few deluxe edition packages that will include T-shirts, bags, cassettes, posters, and more.
As Dilla’s mother, Ma Dukes, puts it, “I can smile in my heart, knowing my son’s work is being shared with the people as we planned before he passed. I only share the best, and I only hope to continue introducing the world to the genius of J Dilla.”
Take a listen to a preview below.