This Day in Hip Hop and Rap History
Host: Chuck D w/ Duke Eatmon & Ron Maskell
February 10th, 2012
February 10th – Legendary producer, beat maker and MC J Dilla a.k.a. Jay Dee dies of cardiac arrest at his home in Los Angeles, California on this day in 2006 just 4 days after his 32nd birthday and the release of his classic instrumental album “Donuts.”
J Dilla was born James DeWitt Yancey in Detroit Michigan in 1974.
As a producer, Dilla was best known for his work with the who’s who in contemporary hip-hop like Common, De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, Ghostface Killah and Raekwon of The Wu-Tang Clan, The Pharcyde and Busta Rhymes just to name a few.
He also produced hit tracks for R’n’B singers like Janet Jackson and Erykah Badu.
He collaborated with MC Madlib and formed the duo Jaylib who released the album “Champion Sound” on Stones Throw Records in 2003.
He was also a part of The Soulquarians musical collective which included The Roots, D’Angelo, Erykah Badu, Common, Mos Def and Talib Kweli to name a few. He was also a part of The Ummah production squad comprised of Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammad of A Tribe Called Quest and Raphael Saadiq, formerly of Tony, Toni, Tone and Lucy Pearl.
J Dilla was also a member of the legendary Detroit underground group Slum Village who released two albums and an EP between 1997 and 2000.
J Dilla released five solo albums from 2000 until his passing in 2006.
He recorded an album for MCA Records in 2003 called “Pay Jay” which was never officially released but eventually became a cult classic when it was leaked online.
Four posthumous albums have been released so far with another slated to be out in 2012.
Dilla suffered from a rare blood disease and possibly lupus. J Dilla is considered by hip-hop purists as one of the greatest, gifted and most talented beat makers and producers in hip-hop history.