Real Name:
James Dewitt Yancey
Born: 7 February 1974.
Died: 10 February 2006.

US hip-hop producer, and DJ. Brother of Illa J.

James Dewitt Yancey, better known by his stage name J Dilla or Jay Dee, was an American record producer who emerged from the mid-1990s underground hip-hop scene in Detroit, Michigan.

He began his career as a member of the group Slum Village, and made his name with Common, A Tribe Called Quest, and as Jaylib in which he collaborated with Madlib. He was also a member of the production team trio The Ummah with Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammad.

He started his career under the name Jay Dee (based on his initials) but used the name J Dilla from 2001 onward. Many critics believe his work to have had a major influence on his peers and that he embodied the neo-soul sound, playing a defining yet understated role during the sub-genre's rise (roughly from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s). LA-based producer and MC, Madlib, began collaborating with J Dilla, and the pair formed the group Jaylib in 2002, releasing an album called "Champion Sound" in 2003. After J Dilla relocated from Detroit to LA in 2004, they toured as Jaylib in Spring 2004.

He moved from his native Detroit to Los Angeles to live with his mother after being diagnosed in 2003.
It was later revealed that he suffered from TTP, a rare blood disease, and Lupus, affecting the immune-system. J Dilla's illness and medication caused dramatic weight loss from 2003 onwards, forcing him to publicly confirm speculation about his health in 2004. Despite a slower output of major releases and production credits in 2004-2005, his cult status remained strong within his core audience, as evident by unauthorized circulation of his underground "beat tapes" (instrumental, and raw working materials), mostly through internet file sharing. Articles in music publications URB (March 2004) and XXL (June 2005) confirmed rumors of ill health and hospitalization during this period, but these were downplayed by J himself. The seriousness of his condition became public in November 2005 when J Dilla toured Europe performing from a wheelchair.

His last album released during his lifetime, "Donuts", was released on Stones Throw Records on 7 Feb 2006, Dilla's 32nd birthday, and the first one in years he didn't spend in hospital. Three days later, on 10 February 2006, he died at his home in LA. According to his mother, Maureen Yancey, the cause was cardiac arrest.

The founding of the James Dewitt Yancey Foundation was announced in May 2006 by his mother Maureen Yancey, to honour her son's legacy and to help raise awareness and funding for Lupus research by organizing continued events to aid underprivileged children gain quality arts training, primarily in the field of music.
7243 5 48901 2 3 J Dilla - Selfish album art Slum Village Featuring Kanye West & John Legend Reunion Slum Village Featuring Kanye West & John Legend - Selfish(CD, Maxi, Copy Prot.) Capitol Records, Barak Records, EMI 7243 5 48901 2 3 Europe 2004 Sell This Version
PEH-003 J Dilla - Preemptive Hype Vol. 3 album art Various Do Ya Thang (as Jay Dilla) Various - Preemptive Hype Vol. 3(12") Recordings PEH-003 US 2004 Sell This Version
BTE 48597 J Dilla - Blue Note Revisited album art Various Oblighetto Various - Blue Note Revisited(12") Blue Note BTE 48597 US 2004 Sell This Version
499.2148.130, STH 2148 J Dilla - Chrome Children Sampler album art Various Nothing Like This Various - Chrome Children Sampler(12") Play It Again Sam [PIAS], Stones Throw Records 499.2148.130, STH 2148 Belgium 2006 Sell This Version
FC12025 J Dilla - The War L.P. Part Two album art Waajeed Garage Band Waajeed - The War L.P. Part Two(12") Fat City FC12025 UK 2007 Sell This Version
STH 2156 J Dilla - Hella International album art Various Make'em Nv (Madlib Remix) and 1 more… Various - Hella International(3x12" + Box, Ltd, Smplr) Stones Throw Records STH 2156 US 2007 Sell This Version
REBTUZ027 J Dilla - Rebtuz Presents Birthdays EP album art Me&You / Various Love In Be Must We (Me&You Edit) Me&You / Various - Rebtuz Presents Birthdays EP(12", EP, Promo) Rebtuz REBTUZ027 UK 2008 Sell This Version
STH2200 J Dilla - Stones Throw 10 X 45 album art Various Make Em NV and 1 more… Various - Stones Throw 10 X 45(10x7" + Box) Stones Throw Records STH2200 US 2010 Sell This Version
none J Dilla - Tokyo Twinkle Lazer album art Napkin Terrorizer Don't Cry(Napkin Terrorizer Remix) Napkin Terrorizer - Tokyo Twinkle Lazer (EP) GAO none Japan 2014
none J Dilla - WATCH EP  album art Londy Baby Boo (Londy Remix) and 1 more… Londy - WATCH EP (9xFile, MP3, WAV, EP) Not On Label none US 2014
LVTs002 J Dilla - The Unseen Breaks album art Various The Unseen Breaks Various - The Unseen Breaks(7") Love Turl LVTs002 US 2018 Sell This Version
STH7067 J Dilla - Remix 45 album art Various Let's Take It Back (Knxwledge Remix) Various - Remix 45(7", Single, Ltd) Stones Throw Records STH7067 US 2018 Sell This Version
STH2400, SCV-SP-061-ST J Dilla - Stones Throw X Serato III album art Various Let’s Take It Back - Knxwledge Remix Various - Stones Throw X Serato III(2x12", Ltd, Cle) Stones Throw Records, Serato Pressings STH2400, SCV-SP-061-ST US 2018 Sell This Version

Reviews Show All 15 Reviews

Add Review



June 23, 2020
You don't know hip hop till you know Dilla, soak it in
Bless up


January 5, 2017
Thank You for everything J Dilla aka Jay Dee.. you are much appreciated..


September 30, 2016
edited over 4 years ago
Just like 2 Pac Dilla will release more than 10 times the music after his death then before, without his blessing of course but hey respect went out long ago. Me me me!


April 1, 2014
Why the page of "jaydee" Is not incorporated into This page "j dilla"? One artist, two list..


September 21, 2013


September 20, 2013
Dilla all Day !!
His production catalogue includes classic tracks from : The Pharcyde, Tribe Called Quest, Busta Rhymes, Guilty Simpson, Mos Def, De La Soul, Slum Village, Erykah Badu, Jaylib, and many others...
Pure Genius


August 24, 2012
no mention to one of the best producers of hiphop ever??? j dilla is the man!

Lists Add to List

View More Lists →

Videos (121) Edit