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Detroit hip hop legend J Dilla's record collection goes up for auction

J Dilla at a drum set
Thomas Angermann
Creative Commons
J Dilla at a drum set

A portion of the record collection belonging to Detroit artist J Dilla (James Yancey) is now for sale.

Since his death in 2006, the seminal hip-hop producer’s record collection had lain dormant in a storage unit maintained by his mother.

Now Dilla’s mother, Maureen “Ma Dukes” Yancey, is selling records from the collection through weekly Ebay auctions.

According to J-Dilla.com, buyers will receive an LP stamped and certified to prove they are in fact from Dilla’s collection.

His iconic album, “Donuts,” was reissued recently to glowing reviews.

Dilla made a name for himself in the early 2000s with a subdued sound described as “leisurely,” “warm and slightly off-kilter.”

Kelefa Sanneh of the New York Times called his beats “more digressive than declarative,” setting them apart from mainstream hip-hop and making them a perfect match for artists like Common and Erykah Badu.

From officialjdilla.com:

[I]t was the imperfect, the mistakes in music that excited him. His signature sloppy, off-beat drum programming gave his tracks a feeling of freshness and spontaneity, standing in stark contrast to the mechanical, perfectly-quantized beats which characterized much of hip hop at the time.


In a continuing celebration of Dilla’s vision, Detroit will host its second annual Dilla Day Tribute Concert.

Taking place Feb. 9 at the Filmore, the show will include artists Royce da 5’ 9” and Talib Kweli.

- Cam Stewart, Michigan Radio Newsroom

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