Seven years ago, legendary Detroit hip-hop producer James Dewitt Yancey aka J Dilla released his last studio album entitled “Donuts.” Throughout the process in creating “Donuts,” Dilla was extremely sick and bedridden, suffering from the blood disease Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. Many consider “Donuts” to be a hip-hop classic, and just three days after its release, Yancey’s battle with his sickness would come to an end, claiming his life at just 32 years old.
Today, we celebrate the life and discography of J Dilla, on what would be his 39th birthday. Dilla touched the lives of many hip-hop lovers across the world, and especially in Detroit. As a founding member of the Detroit hip-hop group Slum Village, Dilla’s work on the MPC with SV would help him gain recognition from many in the industry.
Jay Dee would work alongside artists such as Common, D’Angelo, De La Soul, Erykah Badu and A Tribe Called Quest, among many others throughout his successful career. Arguably Dilla’s best production came on Common’s 2000 album “Like Water For Chocolate,” receiving critical acclaim from Rolling Stone, The Source and numerous hip-hop outlets.
Since his death in 2006, Dilla’s music has continued to touch the lives of hip-hop heads all across the world, only cementing his legacy as one of the greatest hip-hop producers of all-time.
RIP Jay Dee.
Written by: Zach Fleer / @YS614