39ºF

Uniquely Detroit: J Dilla

DETROIT – J Dilla, also known as Jay Dee, was born James Dewitt Yancey on Feb 7, 1974, on Detroit's east side.

He was widely regarded as the greatest hip hop producer of his time -- and one of the best music producers of any genre,ever.

He found early success as a rapper and producer with Detroit hip hop group Slum Village.

In an article from XXL magazine, Questlove of The Roots gushed over Dilla's talent. 

"As far as our definition of hip-hop production is concerned, as far as making beats, [Dilla] is absolutely without peer," Questlove said.

Many artists sought out Dilla's extraordinary producing talent to take their projects to the next level. Here are just a few of the artists he worked with:Common, Dwele, Guilty Simpson, Phat Kat, Black Milk, Mos Def, J Rocc, Busta Rhymes, Erykah Badu, De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, and The Pharcyde.

His life and legacy will be celebrated Friday, Feb.  12, at the first-ever Dillatroit event at Bert's on Broadway. Info and tickets here.

The event benefits the J Dilla Foundation, which works to enhance and develop urban music programs in inner-city schools.

 


About the Author: