J Dilla Dies – Today in Hip-Hop
On this day, Feb. 10, in hip-hop history...
2006: Today, Feb. 10, marks the anniversary of the passing of famed producer, J Dilla.
The Detroit-bred record producer, who originally went by the name of Jay Dee, began to make his mark on the industry back in the mid-1990s, working with some of the biggest names in hip-hop. Artists like Busta Rhymes, Common and A Tribe Called Quest all reaped the beneifts of Dilla's smooth production style. In 1997, he produced a Grammy-winning single for Janet Jackson.
At the turn of the new millennium, J Dilla turned to performing under his new moniker, subsequently picking up steam with his group, Slum Village. In June of 2000, the Detroit crew dropped their sophomore album Fantastic, Vol. 2, which served as Dilla's major label debut. After parting ways with Slum Village in 2001, he released his debut solo album, Welcome 2 Detroit, before signing a deal with MCA Records in 2002. and kept pumping out beautifully produced projects like 2006's Donuts, which was released just a few days prior to his death. The beloved producer and MC passed away on this day in 2006 due to complications from the autoimmune disease, lupus. He was 32 years old.
Although J Dilla is gone, his work continues to make its mark on the hip-hop community. Not only has he received several posthumous awards and dropped an astonishing amount of posthumous projects, there are continued notable tributes to him as well.
J Dilla Day Weekend has long been an extremely popular event, he has his own commemorative limited edition Dilla turntable and has been the subject of countless tributes. The Detroit legend has had his MPC (MIDI Production Center) included in the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and Dilla even has a donut shop dedicated to his memory. When talking about the deceased artist, revered producer Kanye West compared Dilla's production to that of Quincy Jones, also claiming that he had "arguably the best drums in hip-hop history."
Rest easy, J Dilla.
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