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J Dilla


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Detroit, United States (1993 – 2006)

J Dilla was born James Dewitt Yancey on February 7, 1974 in Detroit, Michigan, to Maureen and Beverly Yancey. From the onset, music was intrinsic to Jay’s life. His mother Maureen was an accomplished singer and lover of classical music and opera. His father Beverly was a gifted vocalist and bass player fond of vocal harmonies and jazz, who played professionally for 25 years before taking a job at Ford. A two-year-old Jay would gurgle along in perfect pitch to the sound of his father practicing on his upright bass until it lulled him to sleep.

Especially aware of the dangers that faced unoccupied youths growing up in their Detroit neighborhood of Conant Gardens, the Yancey’s set out to keep their children as busy as possible between cub scouts, music lessons, youth choir, and any other church activities. Nurturing their son’s early passion for music, Jay was always enrolled in some kind of music class, excelling on the piano, violin and cello, before moving on to the drums. But it was the lure of the boom-bap which ultimately moved him from the church pews to the studio.

“When I heard Run-D.M.C.’s “Sucker M.C.’s (Krush-Groove 1)” and Whodini’s “Big Mouth”, it made me curious to how the beats were made. Those songs were the first time I heard the beats that weren’t melodic - just drums. Being someone who was taking drum lessons at the time, that made me real curious. That led me into deejaying, which slowly led to me deejaying parties and that eventually led me into production.”


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  • agentzerooo

    dat indo smoke that shit is no joke SMOKE

    26 Jul 8:28pm Reply
  • Indyalanjones1

    none ill than j dilla

    10 Jul 3:47pm Reply
  • PlankReynolds

    one wont do and two is not enough for me no

    24 May 5:14am Reply
  • TheCemetery

    Thank you for your music Jay

    8 May 4:46am Reply
  • DissecteDnigger

    Most overrated hip-hop artist of all time

    7 May 10:56am Reply
  • Paulz0r

    Vol. 2 Vintage has to be my favourite album. Just great for background music for almost anything.

    21 Feb 9:23pm Reply
  • TheeFringe

    I want that box set so bad

    15 Feb 10:15am Reply
  • Junill

    What up son/ Hey Bruh

    14 Feb 11:18am Reply
  • bethanypwns

    hb!!!! <3

    8 Feb 6:25am Reply
  • auronguardian

    Happy Birthday Dilla.

    7 Feb 11:08pm Reply
  • Andre127

    Happy Birthday Jay.

    7 Feb 7:05pm Reply
  • GloverAltmYance

    Happy Birthday! Thank You

    7 Feb 12:43pm Reply
  • Aristoxenous

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Everyone buy the 'King of Beats" Box Set for Ma Dukes!

    7 Feb 11:07am Reply
  • Kostya_1993

    Happy Birthday Jay!Rest in beats....

    7 Feb 10:40am Reply
  • nIceek

    Happy b-day, Jay

    7 Feb 8:52am Reply
  • Aristoxenous

    Still waiting for the jazz album.

    5 Feb 3:54pm Reply
  • S_Dot

    I've always wondered about the Donuts track list. The name of the tracks, the order, everything seems very deliberate. It just dawned on me tonight, after years of listening to the album that I think that maybe it is supposed to be played on repeat in its entirety. The Outro track is called "Welcome to the Show (Intro)" and the Intro track is called Donuts (Outro). To me this symbolizes a continuous project the end flows into the beginning and the beginning flows into the end. Like a circle, like a fucking Donut. Perhaps it symbolizes life and death or something, the perfect ending. No one is lost in death, we all just flow back into the ether. The circle of life. This album give me the feels every time I listen to it. It has helped me get through a lot of shit over the years. Thank you Jay Dee, for everything.

    4 Feb 6:15pm Reply
  • OG-Gurda

    he raps good.

    21 Jan 5:59pm Reply
  • loulou311

    19 Jan 4:39pm Reply
  • M3llowDEE

    "All I need in, my, life is.. There, is, no-thing like this" That's how I feel about his music.

    24 Dec 2014 Reply
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