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J Dilla

J DillaAKA James Yancey

Born: 7-Feb-1974
Birthplace: Detroit, MI
Died: 10-Feb-2006
Location of death: Los Angeles, CA
Cause of death: Lupus

Gender: Male
Religion: African Methodist Episcopal
Race or Ethnicity: Black
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Music Producer

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Hip-hop producer, Donuts

Detroit-based hip-hop producer. Coming to the attention of the music industry while still a teenager, Jay Dee produced hip-hop and R&B through the late 1990s, making beats for Janet Jackson, De La Soul, Busta Rhymes, A Tribe Called Quest, Q-Tip, and others. Trouble with his record label delayed various projects with his Detroit crew Slum Village; Dilla finally released his first solo album in 2001. In that year he connected with Californian prodigy Madlib; tape-trading between the two rapper-producers resulted in the Jaylib album Champion Sound (2003). Diagnosed with a rare blood disorder in 2002, Dilla relocated to Los Angeles, living in a house with rapper Common, until deteriorating health forced him into a hospital bed. Feeling death close at hand, Dilla continued to work on music: his swan-song, Donuts (2006), was released on his 32nd birthday, three days before his death. An unabashed celebration of life at its most precious, the album identified Dilla to a generation of producers and inspired countless imitators. Dilla left behind a prodigious amount of unreleased music, yet his family's attempts to preserve his legacy have been waylaid by tax problems and an estate in disarray.

Father: Beverly Yancey
Mother: Maureen Yancey ("Ma Dukes", b. 1949)
Brother: John Yancey ("Illa J")
Girlfriend: Monica Whitlow (b. 1970, two daughters)
Daughter: Paige (b. 2000)
Daughter: Ja'Mya (b. 2002)

    High School: Davis Aerospace Technical High School, Detroit, MI

    J Dilla
    Slum Village (1996-2001)
    A Tribe Called Quest Producer (1996-98)
    Common Producer (2000)
    D'angelo Producer (2000)
    Jaylib (2003)
    Risk Factors: Marijuana

Selected albums:
Welcome 2 Detroit (2001)
Jay-Lib (2004)
Donuts (2006)
Jay Stay Paid (2009)


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