J Dilla and the Smithsonian
What up MaschineMasters, it’s your boy Ant Smith with another blog installation and this time I am writing a piece on the great Detroit representative James Dewitt Yancey. Better know as J Dilla.
Recently it was confirmed that J Dilla’s beloved mum, Maureen Yancey (Ma Dukes), was donating J Dilla’s Minimoog Voyager synthesizer and Akai MIDI Production Center 3000 Limited Edition to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The Museum is due to open in 2016 and one notable exhibition is music orientated. It will include a cape and jump suit owned by James Brown, turntables and speakers used by Tony Crush, but I personally feel the main attraction for all Hip-Hop fans is the J Dilla collection.
This headline instantly attracting my attention for many reasons. Clearly the main one was J Dilla, one of the best producers to ever live and sadly his life was cut short on the 10th February 2006.
8 years have passed and many people are still celebrating the life of the genius, J Dilla. His music is still banging out of millions of speakers everyday. I, like many of you, listen to J Dilla on a regular basis. The man was just DOPE. His creativity was 2nd to none and he will always be remembered.
I have read many articles, watched many videos on J Dilla and I have to say he is an inspiration. I didn’t know J Dilla personally and I don’t want to write his biography, simply because, I didn’t know him and I personally feel I would be out of line. However I do feel his vibe through his music and in a “hypothetical world”, if I ever saw J Dilla I would thank him for bringing so much to Hip Hop and inspiring me to become a producer.
You guys don’t need me to tell you how great J Dilla is, but I would encourage any Hip-Hop fan to take a trip to the capital to check this great collection out. For sure if I was on the other side of the pond, I would definitely take a trip to see this fine exhibition in Washington DC.
Ma Dukes also announced that there would be a forth-coming album by the late, great, J Dilla called The King Of Beats (Ma Dukes Yancey Collectors Edition Box Set). A great title for a great man. This will be a collection consuming of 40 tracks, which is due to be released this summer. A date is yet to be confirmed. This Collectors Edition is going to be dope, so if you want to cop one of these I would encourage you to get your order in early to avoid any disappointment.
So I’m going to leave you with a few questions MaschineMasters. What’s your favorite J Dilla track? If you could donate any equipment from any artist, who would it be? What equipment would you donate?
Drop your comments below and I look forward to hearing your views. Until next time you can catch me at @UKAntSmith.
RIP J Dilla (February 7th 1974 – February 10th 2006)