Written by: MusikArtLuv
I’m not gonna lie, I have been working on this piece for a minute now. The reason is, I am a super fan of James Dewitt Yancey a.k.a J. Dilla. I started on this piece the day news broke about a collection of vinyl and other personal items that were found in a storage unit. The collection was now in the possession of Jeff Bubeck owner of Royal Oak record store UHF. The storage unit was in Clinton Township, Michigan. I decided to write about the news because it seemed odd that all of a sudden the collection would show up and be for sale. At the time of the posting of the Detroit News article that broke the news, Bubeck said he had tried for a while to reach out to J.Dillas estate and foundation but was unsuccessful. He later pulled the collection due to an overwhelming response to them. A day later Maureen “Ma Dukes” Yancey reached out to the store owner and decided if the collection indeed belonged to Dilla, she wanted to create a certificate of authenticity. Some of the proceeds would go to Dilla’s family and the J Dilla foundation. Mrs. Yancey says she was not upset about the finding but, considers it a blessing. I think it is a blessing too. Dillas music will continue to live on in all that were inspired by him. His body of work is huge. He was a founding member of Slum Village, worked with collectives such as The Ummah( Q-Tip, Ali Shaheed Mohammed), and the Soulquarians (Erykah Badu,D’Angelo, Talib Kweli, Bilal, James Poyser, Pino Palladino, ?uestlove, Common, and Mos Def a/k/a Yasiin Bey).
Dilla passed away at the young age of thirty-two due to complications of lupus. I believe if Dilla had lived longer we would be would be highly discussed. His body of work is just as significant as Quincy Jones, George and Ira Gershwin, hell why not, even Mozart. Dilla continues to influenced artists from all genres of music. Composer Miguel Atwood Ferguson and Carlos Nino did “Suite for Ma Dukes” conducting a forty piece orchestra. Commons “Finding Forever” release had Kanye West chopping up samples like Dilla would. Robert Glasper has the J Dillalude. There are numerous tributes that shows just how far his music reached.
J Dilla had changed the way I listen to music and my crate diggin is worse than ever. I know his music collection will go on to inspire the next generation of musicians as well. I mean remember the first time you heard “Players”? Not only did you have to cop it but it made you step your sh*t up, didn’t it?