DJ, producer, and drummer of The Roots, Questlove once said "Your favorite producer has Dilla in his top 3." He would have been 39 today, but on February 10, 2006, James "J Dilla" Yancey lost his battle with lupus.
This week, the city of Detroit will celebrate J Dilla, a native of the city, with the Dilla Day concert Saturday and Dilla Youth Day Sunday, the 7th anniversary of the producer/rapper's death, The Oakland Press reports.
Saturday, February 9, rappers Talib Kweli, Royce Da 5'9, Dilla's brother Illa J, Frank n Dank, DJ Spinna, DJ Houseshoes, and more will celebrate the music of J Dilla with Dilla Day at the Fillmore Detroit. Proceeds from the event will go to The J Dilla Foundation, which helos fund inner-city music programs and helps give scholarships to music students.
The following day from noon to 4 pm, Dilla Youth Day will feature performances by the Urban Strings Youth Orchestra and the dance teams Hardcore Detroit and Motor City Rockerz. There will also be a workshop to teach people how to create their own Hip-Hop beats.
In celebration of J Dilla's legacy, The J Dilla Foundation has also teamed with Stussy to release this limited edition t-shirt featuring some of the rapper/producer's classic albums. The shirts will be released Friday February 8.
J Dilla's The Lost Scrolls Vol. 1 album was released this week. It features the songs "Dewitt To Do It" (Dewitt was James " J Dilla" Yancey's middle name) and "Throwaway" by the Yancey Boys (Dilla and his brother Illa J). The song features Frank Nitt of Detroit rap group Frank n Dank.
Also, one of Dilla's close friends and collaborators, fellow Detroiter, Karriem Riggins, is honoring his lost friend's legacy with "J Dilla The Greatest." You can watch it here.
For anyone in Brooklyn, NY tonight (Thursday February 7), Questlove will also honor Dilla's legacy by playing all Dilla Beats at Bowl Train at Brooklyn Bowl. Each Thursday night, Questo, spins and mixes, some of the greatest Hip-Hop songs from past and present. Tonight, it's all about J Dilla.
Happy Birthday, Dilla.