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Happy Birthday J Dilla!

Faith Jessie |
February 7, 2014 | 4:15 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

Today marks the 40th year of the life of a man whose is known as one of the biggest influencers in hip-hop music. James Dewitt Yancey, Jay Dee, or J Dilla, was more than just a producer/rapper in the 90’s, but he was an artist of lyrical and inquisitive sound that opened up a gateway for a bridge into the experimental realm of hip-hop.

It is a different sound. His music shies away from the simple beats that allow you to effortlessly process the content passing through the speakers and instead makes you think. The sound might throw you off for a bit, and may make you wrinkle your nose and raise an eyebrow, but then it brings you back with its solidifying flow.

Coming up out of Detroit, J Dilla has worked with a number of artists including Erika Badu, De la Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, MF Doom, and Common.

In honor of the artist, De La Soul led Dilla Day Detroit, hosted at the Fillmore. It was the third annual local celebration of Dilla.

According to the Detroit News Posdnuos of De la Soul said, “I always say J.D. was the Tupac of beatmaking; he has gems and jewels that are still out there to be found and to be heard.”

In addition to De La Soul a great line-up was set for the event including group Slum Village who released their song “Yes, Yes” as a tribute featuring Jay Dee.

Another notable tribute is Australian producer Taku. Although it was released in 2012, a lot of people have been talking about his project “50 days for Dilla.” If you haven’t checked it out yet, it’s definitely worth a listen.

His influence will always and forever have an imprint on music. Viva J Dilla.

Reach Staff Reporter Faith Jessie here. Follow her on Twitter.



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