Today's episode features Detroit, Michigan Music Producer, Emcee, Drummer, Song Writer, Sound Engineer, 1/3 of the Legendary Slum Village, member of the supergroup The Soulquarians, collaborator in genres of Hip-Hop, Neo-Soul, R&B, Pop and more. Born to Ma Dukes as James Dewitt Yancey but known to the world as J DILLA aka Jay Dee. Enjoy!
J DILLA was slated to be an engineer but instead took those computing abilities and engineered music compositions/beats in a complex way to make you say “how tf did he do that”. But J DILLA still maintained a hypnotic feeling in his music to give you a “🤯 face” and make you feel 😁 and at the same time. His listening ability was one of his superpowers. The way he heard even the most complex of samples and chop them up. Another superpower was his ability to take a sample, hear chops while listening and reconstruct it into something so amazing we’re still in awe of til this day. He worked with some of music’s amazing talents like Frank’ N Dank, Common, Erykah Badu, D’Angelo, Dwele, The Roots, Busta Rhymes, A Tribe Called Quest, members of the Wu-Tang Clan (Raekwon and Ghostface Killah) and record companies like Stones Throw Records. His peers like Madlib, DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Q-Tip, Questlove, Nottz, Bink, Houseshoes, Blackmilk and more have stories of his genius all over the internet. He loved Japan, crate digging in record shops, finding samples no one would think to flip even on his hospital bed dealing with complications from Lupus which led to transition from this spirit realm at age 32.
Once you press play and let it ride with whatever your doing, you will feel it. His music was about the feeling, funk, swing over anything else. Also, he valued impressing his peers with his music. I discovered his music years ago and had the privilege to see his impact as a young kid listening to music in my adolescence like Busta Rhymes, A Tribe Called Quest, The Roots and Slum Village. I hope you dive more into his musical contributions, and music discography and help contribute to keeping his memories alive. His memory lives on.
J Dilla’s musical contributions come from the following various albums available to stream here
Read, learn about J DILLA and grab official music and merch and make a donation to the JamesDYanceyFoundation.org
Visit the Smithsonian African American History section honoring J DILLA (click here)
Read The Life and Afterlife of J DILLA - The Hip-Hop Producer Who Reinvented Rhythm here
Special thanks to Afrobluu and Tatzumakiii for the voicemails