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    Thread: R.I.U. J-Dilla

    1. #1
      rebelAfrika's Avatar
      rebelAfrika is offline Pan-Africanism or Perish!

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      R.I.U. J-Dilla

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      The man was AMAZING with beats! Rest In Uhuru!

      Rap Producer J-Dilla Dies; Kidney Failure Suspected
      By Nolan Strong
      Date: 2/10/2006 6:14 pm

      Hip-Hop producer J-Dilla passed away today (Feb. 10) due to an unspecified ailment. Early reports suggest he succumbed to kidney failure, a medical problem which arose in 2004.

      J-Dilla, born James Yancy, was a member of Slum Village and worked with various Hip-Hop artists including Kanye West, Busta Rhymes, A Tribe Called Quest and Common's Grammy-nominated album, BE.

      In 2005, rumors spread that the rapper/producer had died suddenly. Those rumors were debunked by J-Dilla's label, Stones Throw, but verified the producer did spend considerable time in the hospital. Stone’s Throw wasn’t at liberty to confirm the death of the rapper, but Slum Village group member T-3 confirmed the unfortunate event on his MySpace web page.

      “I’m f**ked up, my n***a just passed away,” T3 posted on the website. Friends and fans posted their condolences on T3’s site.

      One poster said, “Yo 3, hold ya head up man. I know how it is to lose someone you consider blood not just in the game, but also in just life period. I didn't even know DILLA personally, but he influenced me as producer and changed my whole life and aspect as a musician. Duke, keep your head up! His life was a blessing to many including myself. You, Elzhi, and Batin are in my prayers. We love you Dilla”

      In a 2004 interview with Urb magazine, J-Dilla disclosed that he had kidney problems as a result of malnutrition.

      "What happened was that the doctor told me that I'd ruptured my kidney from being too busy and being stressed out and not eating right," J-Dilla told Urb. "He told me that if I'd waited another day, I might not have made it."

      "Sometimes that fixation can be a good thing and sometimes it can be bad. There'd be days when I wouldn't eat at all because I'd be in the basement working all day," said Jay Dee. "This is definitely my second chance, my wakeup call. I still love the music, but I wouldn't put it first in my life. It's family first - and then everything else."

      Representatives for Stones Throw Records confirmed hearing of the death, but could not offer a confirmation.

      After being the in-house producer for Slum Village, J-Dilla left the group after their first national album, Fantastic Vol. 2., which was released on the Barak label.

      The rapper debuted with his solo offering, Welcome To Detroit on BBE.

      After joining Stones Throw in 2003, he formed the critically acclaimed group Jaylib with producer/rapper Madlib and released the album Champion Sound.

      The rapper recorded the foundation for the 45-minute instrumental album Donuts while hospitalized and in his home studio. Donuts hit stores on Feb. 7 on Stones Throw.

      According to Stones Throw's website, the producer was finishing a tour, which included appearances in Melbourne, Australia tomorrow as well as dates in Montreal, Canada and San Francisco.

    2. #2

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      Ohhhhhhh Sshh****ttt!!! Das My Man Frum Slum Village!!! Man, I Didnt Even Know The Brutha Was Sick. He Just Dropped A Cd This Month I Know This Year At Least.

      R.i.p. Brutha, He Made Some Pretty Good Beats


    3. #3
      G.O.D.F.A.T.H.A.'s Avatar
      G.O.D.F.A.T.H.A. is offline Universal Wisdom Seeker

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      R.I.U. J-Dilla. He wasn't arrogant like Kanye Pest so he is well respected by us other HipHoppas. J Dilla has made many hits but has never gotten the respect that he deserves. His legacy will live on. R.I.U. Warrior J-Dilla.

    4. #4
      Raha's Avatar
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      Unhappy unbelievable.

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      Jay-Dee JUST came out with his album, "Donuts" a couple of weeks ago. I just...I can't wrap my head around has really hit me HARD. Now, when I listen to ATCQ or De La or Common or whoever and hear his production, it'll sadden me even more.

      J-Dilla was truly an awe-inspiring talent. He set the bar for producing classic sounds. As a producer, I know that me and some of my other producer friends hold him in the highest of regards. What more can I say....?

      Much love and respect to James Yancey.
      Pyrrhic Victory (New songs are up!):

      Some people take themselves WAY TOO SERIOUSLY, when in actuality, no one else is really taking them as seriously as they think.

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      Raha's Avatar
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      "Beats, Rhymes & Life": Hip-Hoppers Remember J Dilla

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      Daily Hip-Hop News:
      "Beats, Rhymes & Life": Hip-Hoppers Remember J Dilla
      Wednesday - February 15, 2006 by Jesse Gissen

      Jay Dee

      On Friday (February 10), hip-hop tragically lost another one of its greatest talents with the passing of J Dilla, a highly respected producer known for injecting soul into his music and for crafting some of hip-hop's greatest songs.

      Also known as Jay Dee (born James Dewitt Yancey), the Detroit native passed away after a battle with Lupus.

      Besides creating signature soundscapes for artists like A Tribe Called Quest, Busta Rhymes, Common, and his own group Slum Village, among others, Dilla was also a rapper. He has amassed legions of dedicated fans including platinum-selling beatmakers The Neptunes' Pharrell Williams and Kanye West, with whom he worked with on Common's grammy-nominated album Be.

      "Some days I felt like I wasn't even in the same league with the guy," 9th Wonder, Little Brother's producer who has also worked with Jay-Z and Destiny's Child, told SOHH. "His work ethic, persistence and genius work says it all. I felt like he, along with Pete Rock and DJ Premier, was looking over my shoulder every record I listened to, and every beat I made... Funny thing is, although we were and will always be connected somehow, I never even had the pleasure to meet or talk to him."

      Ghostface Killah, who recently worked with Dilla on his upcoming album, Fishscale, was also touched by his passing. "I respect his work period... Another good brother is lost in hip-hop."

      Last night (February 14), Conscious, founder of held a tribute to J Dilla in NYC. Fans showed up at all hours of Valentine's night to pay tribute to the man while rotating DJs showcased his work.

      "Plainly put, most people would consider the man a beatmaker, but nah he was a little bit more than that, actually he was a musician," Conscious told SOHH. "I think he made music until it killed him."

      DJ Polarity, a fan who was spinning at the event added, "There was actual heart involved in what Dilla did, whether it was Slum Village, De La [Soul], or whoever, you know, throughout the years he always had something that was a cut above the rest. It was real tragic that he passed away nonetheless he's gonna live on through his music... I'm gonna keep remembering him for what he did for the craft, and also what he did for the people, giving them a new sound. Dilla will be remembered by millions."

      Judging from last night's event and the other tributes thrown throughout the world, Detroit soulchild J Dilla is destined to live on. Conscious says he even plans on throwing an annual tribute on Dilla's birth date (February 7).

      When asked about his collaboration with Dilla, Ghost replied, "He gave me a real, real nice one." Word... That sums it up best.

      James Dewitt Yancey (1974-2006) R.I.P
      Pyrrhic Victory (New songs are up!):

      Some people take themselves WAY TOO SERIOUSLY, when in actuality, no one else is really taking them as seriously as they think.

    6. #6
      Raha's Avatar
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      Jay Dee's last days

      The untold story of the noted Detroit hip-hop producer's drive to make music
      in the face of life-threatening illness

      February 23, 2006



      It was near the end of summer 2005, and James Yancey was sitting in a
      hospital bed at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles.

      He couldn't walk. He could barely talk. And after spending most of the
      winter and spring in the hospital, receiving treatment for a rare,
      life-threatening blood disease and other complications, he had been

      His body was killing him, and little could be done about it.

      It was a grim prognosis, but it wasn't deterring him from tinkering with his
      electronic drum machine.

      In the sterile white hospital room, the tools of his trade surrounded him:
      turntables, headphones, crates of records, a sampler, his drum machine and a computer, stuff his mother and friends from L.A.-based record label Stones Throw had lugged to his hospital room. Sometimes his doctor would listen to the beats through Yancey's headphones, getting a hip-hop education from one of the best in the business.

      Yancey tampered with his equipment until his hands swelled so much he could barely move them. When the pain was too intense, he'd take a break. His mother massaged his fingertips until the bones stopped aching.

      Then he'd go back to work. Sometimes he'd wake her up in the middle of the night, asking to be moved from his bed to a nearby reclining chair so he
      could layer more hard-hitting beats atop spacey synths or other sampled
      sounds, his creations stored on computer. Yancey told his doctor he was
      proud of the work, and that all he wanted to do was finish the album.

      Before September ended, he'd completed all but two songs for "Donuts," a
      disc that hit stores on Feb. 7, his 32nd birthday.

      Three days after its release, he died.

      Yancey, better known as Jay Dee or J Dilla, is acknowledged as the father of
      the Detroit hip-hop sound. Some people call him a creative genius, and his
      streetwise but soulful and musically tight production style influenced some
      of the world's biggest rap and R&B stars, from Kanye West to Janet Jackson
      to Erykah Badu, many of whom he worked with.

      He was a champion of Detroit's urban music scene, and in the mid-'90s, when hip-hop was dominated by the East and West coasts, he put a distinct Motor City sound on the national map -- and provided inspiration to then-unknowns like Eminem, D12 and his own group, Slum Village.

      As his reputation rose, he persisted with his distinct connection to the
      musical underground, serving as a sort-of people's champion of the
      non-commercial hip-hop scene.

      Just as he was poised for even greater fame, he got sick -- a medical
      odyssey that would put him in and out of hospitals for the better part of
      four years, racking up staggering medical bills.

      The instigator was a rare and incurable blood disease, but the complications
      were many, including recurring kidney failure, severe blood-sugar swings,
      immune system issues, heart trouble and what might have been lupus.

      While rumors swirled in hip-hop circles that he was sick, the extent -- and
      specifics -- of his health concerns were largely kept secret. Yancey was not
      the type who wanted others to know about his problems. Even some of his
      closest friends didn't know what he did: Death was soon coming.

      Since his death, fans have gathered to mourn his passing and celebrate his
      legacy, a mood that will continue today at a public Detroit memorial
      service. And for the first time, those who saw Yancey's struggles
      first-hand, including his mother and doctor, are talking about his final

      January 2002: Something's wrong

      Yancey first realized something was wrong in January 2002 after coming back from a gig in Europe, two years after Slum Village's first national release, "Fantastic Vol. 2." Instead of going to his home in Clinton Township, he went to his parents' house on Detroit's east side, complaining that he had a cold or the flu.

      It was unusual behavior. Even as a kid he'd liked his privacy, but that
      night he needed to be with his mother, Maureen Yancey, hoping that she could somehow make it all better.

      He was sick to his stomach. He had chills. And after he lay down, he said he
      felt worse.

      His mother took him to the emergency room at Bon Secours Hospital in Grosse Pointe. His blood platelet count was below 10. It should have been between 140 and 180. Doctors told his mother they were surprised that he was still walking around.

      Soon, a specialist from Harper Hospital would diagnose a thrombotic
      thrombocytopenic pura or TTP, a rare blood disease that causes a low
      platelet count. Abnormal cells were eating away the good cells. Doctors told
      him there was no cure or direct treatment.

      Yancey stayed in the hospital for about a month and a half. Within weeks he
      had to go back for the same thing -- a trend that would continue for more
      than four years.

      Despite the looming health problems, Yancey moved to L.A. about two years
      after he was diagnosed, determined to make music. Some things went well,
      including a musical collaboration and friendship with the rapper Common, who became his roommate. But he began to feel worse, and he met with a blood specialist who told him that in order to live, he'd have to endure
      medications and hospital treatments.

      In November 2004, Yancey called his mother and asked if she'd come out to
      L.A. to help take care of him.

      Disease leads to kidney failure

      Yancey went into the hospital shortly after his mom arrived, and he stayed
      until March 2005. His mother, who slept at the hospital, never left his
      side. She began to take the reins of her son's health issues, which included
      mounting bills.

      He had to take anti-immune and anti-inflammation steroids. A medication
      designed to suppress his immune system gave him high blood sugar, and he was taken off it.

      The TTP also led to kidney failure. His kidneys would shut down, spring
      back, shut down again. The three-times-a-week, four-hour dialysis treatments were sometimes so painful he had to be unhooked from the machine.

      Because he was lying in bed for long periods, his legs swelled, making it
      difficult to walk. He needed a wheelchair or a walker or cane -- the latter
      he used when he could get out to the music store to look for records, or to
      a nearby fruit market to get juice or a 7-Eleven Slurpee, a treat. Sometimes
      he would forget how to swallow and would have to relearn. He lost 50% of his

      "A lot of times, just when we would get ready to get going, he would get
      sick again," Maureen Yancey said. "He was so tired of going back. It was
      very sedentary. Just watching him, it was sad at times. He couldn't do what
      he wanted to."

      In 2005, weeks before his 31st birthday, doctors diagnosed something that
      looked like lupus, a chronic inflammatory disease that can affect the skin,
      joints, blood and kidneys. His doctor said it was probably what contributed
      to the low platelet count and the frequent swelling and pain in his hands.

      Sure, those long hospital stays had plenty of undesirable consequences. But
      it was the inability to touch the music, to pick it out of records bins,
      twist it and create it, that made those long stays feel never-ending.

      The hospital bills mount

      Even though he had insurance through the American Federation of Television
      and Radio Artists, the cost to keep Yancey alive was steep, and he had to
      pay much of it himself.

      Bills for the lengthy hospital stays topped $200,000 each time. Dialysis
      three times a week cost $1,800. Each once-a-week shot to raise his
      hemoglobin cost $1,800. He had dozens of prescriptions -- $700, $900 or even $2,000 out of pocket per bottle. He had large co-pays -- one was $6,700 a week -- because he had to see specialists.

      His mother, who today gets medical invoices almost daily, has yet to total
      up the costs. His plan was to make more music -- he had a project lined up
      with Will Smith -- to pay the bills and leave money to take care of his
      Detroit-based daughters, Ja-mya Yancey, 4, and Ty-monet Whitlow, 5.

      To pay the bills, Maureen says, she'll work the rest of her life if she has

      A Detroit friend steps in

      Mike Buchanan, better known as DJ House Shoes, first met Yancey in the
      mid-'90s at Street Corner Music in Beverly Hills. House Shoes worked there
      and Yancey was a wanna-be music producer on the hunt for albums.

      After Yancey moved to L.A., their friendship waned. In early 2005, House
      Shoes heard the rumor that Yancey was in a coma and might not pull through. He booked a flight to L.A. and packed a bunch of CDs -- random beats CDs, a mix-tape CD that House Shoes had recently released and anything else he thought Yancey would want to hear.

      He stayed a week, spending every day in the hospital with him.

      His friend looked different -- he was smaller and quieter. House Shoes
      struggled, not wanting to pry too much about the details of his friend's

      "I poker-faced it," House Shoes would say a year later. "It was hard as

      At his hospitalized birthday celebration, Yancey got cake -- chocolate, his
      favorite -- from one of his record labels, Stones Throw. He also got a
      baseball jersey decorated with Detroit street signs.

      Then there was a private gift.

      House Shoes called about 35 people in Detroit -- some who knew Yancey and others who'd never met him but appreciated his contributions to hip-hop. He had them leave birthday and get-well greetings on his voice mail.

      "Man, listen to this crazy message this girl left me," House Shoes said,
      bringing his cell phone closer to Yancey's ear.

      Then he let them play. All 35 messages. There in his hospital bed, Yancey
      broke down and cried.

      Yancey hides his condition

      Yancey kept quiet about how bad things really were.

      After that early 2005 stint at the hospital -- the one that prompted hip-hop
      message boards to report he was in a coma -- he granted an interview to
      hip-hop magazine XXL for its June edition.

      In the interview, he denied that he was comatose, and said that he had
      gotten sick overseas. "As soon as I got back," he told the magazine, "I had
      the flu or something, and I had to check myself into the hospital. Then they
      find out I had a ruptured kidney and was malnourished from not eatin' the
      right kinda food. It was something real simple, but it ended with me being
      in the hospital."

      Only his doctor and his mother knew how bad it really was.

      Detroit rapper Proof, like many of Yancey's friends, never wanted to push

      "We never really got into the sickness thing. I would be like 'How you
      doing?' He would be like 'Better,' " Proof said.

      The Bible provides comfort

      Yancey became more spiritual in the last year of his life.

      He and his mother studied the story of Job, which tackles the question of
      why innocent people suffer, and which biblical scholars interpret to be
      about faith and patience.

      "For God maketh my heart soft, and the Almighty troubleth me: because I was not cut off before the darkness, neither hath he covered the darkness from my face."

      His doctor said he had come to terms with illness.

      "He didn't want to be a professional patient," said Dr. Aron Bick, Yancey's
      L.A.-based hematologist, who also is an oncologist. "The treatment was
      difficult because he would not want to go to the hospital. He was very
      intelligent. He said, 'I hear you, doc. But here are my decisions about my
      own life.'

      "I admired that on a human level. He got the medical care he needed. He
      really did not let his medical situation handicap his life. To him, life
      came first. He made peace with himself before we even knew it. And then he
      made peace with his mom."

      On his 32nd birthday, Yancey spent the day at his L.A. home.

      Roommate Common bought him a birthday cake, chocolate, of course. DJ Peanut Butter Wolf and Madlib, friends from hip-hop's underground, came over with a cake in the shape of a chocolate doughnut, to honor the "Donuts" album, which was released that day.

      Their visit was brief, because Yancey felt uncomfortable with people seeing
      him that way.

      They left the cake at the door. Yancey had a small piece. It was all his
      aching stomach could take.

      It hadn't quite been a month since he'd left the hospital, and he'd just
      learned how to swallow again. Because his voice wasn't strong, he sometimes refused to open his mouth. He was shuffling around his home with a walker -- he'd gotten rid of the wheelchair weeks before.

      "At that point I really felt like something was wrong, more so than ever,"
      said Peanut Butter Wolf. "Even a few weeks before that he was in a
      wheelchair, but he was energetic and showing me music and showing me his
      equipment and talked about moving all of his equipment that's still in
      Detroit to L.A."

      Still, in spite of the pain, he was happy. His one prayer had been answered.
      This was the first birthday in four years that he hadn't spent in a

      'It's going to be all right'

      In the last days of his life, as he shuffled up and down the hallway, he had
      heart-to-heart chats with his mother. They were quick. But they were

      "You know I love you, right?" he said. "And I appreciate everything you've
      ever done for me."

      "You don't have to say that," she said.

      He and his mother had developed a ritual that preceded medical procedures: They'd slap high-fives, an indication that everything was going to be OK.

      At home, the day after his birthday, he held his hand up for his mom to meet it in midair.

      She was puzzled. There was no procedure that day. Why was he doing this?

      He continued to motion for her to high-five him, refusing to stop until her
      hand met his.

      Finally, she relented and gave it to him.

      "That's what I'm talking about," he said. "We're in this together. It's all
      good. You're going to be all right. I promise you it's going to be all
      Pyrrhic Victory (New songs are up!):

      Some people take themselves WAY TOO SERIOUSLY, when in actuality, no one else is really taking them as seriously as they think.

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