James Dewitt Yancey (February 7, 1974–February 10, 2006), better known as J Dilla or Jay Dee, was an American hip hop producer and MC, who emerged from the mid-1990s underground hip-hop scene in Det (More...)
James Dewitt Yancey (February 7, 1974–February 10, 2006), better known as J Dilla or Jay Dee, was an American hip hop producer and MC, who emerged from the mid-1990s underground hip-hop scene in Detroit, Michigan. He began his career as "Jay Dee" but used the name "J Dilla" from 2001 on. Many critics believe J Dilla's work to have had a major influence on his peers, and he perhaps embodied the neo soul sound, playing a defining yet understated role during the sub-genre's rise (roughly from the mid-90s to the early 2000s). J Dilla was known as a "producer's producer", and was highly regarded by better known producers such as Kanye West, Just Blaze, and Pharrell Williams (who named him as his favourite producer). Many considered him as a musical genius. A large catalogue of his work, mostly unused beats, remains unreleased, and in some cases have been freely passed around through the internet, impressing enthusiasts and adding to his cult-status. Gaining inspiration from listening to Whodini’s “Big Mouth” back in the day, Jay began to try his hand at making beats by using the “pause” and record buttons on his tape deck. After learning to work an MPC-60 back in 92’ from Amp Fiddler, Jay Dee was on his way to becoming one of hip-hop’s illest beat makers. After hooking up with two high school friends, T3 and Baatin, they formed the crew called, Slum Village (circa 1988), and Jay started to polish his rhyming skills to match his dope production. As Slum Village began to show themselves in Detroit and around the east coast Jay was also busy getting his production noticed by other artists in the music industry. One thing led to another and by the end of 1996, Jay Dee had produced joints for the likes of The Pharcyde, Keith Murray, Busta Rhymes and De La Soul. After hearing Jay’s ill production’s Q-Tip (A Tribe Called Quest) brought him in to lend his production to their 1996 release “Beats, Rhymes and Life”. Jay Dee became one-third of the ghost production team now known as the Ummah, which included Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed. That year also saw the first release of Slum Village with “Fantastic Vol. I”, a classic hard to find item. A chance meeting with Janet Jackson, led to his 1997 remix of the chart topping “Got Til’ Its Gone” single that paired Janet’s smooth vocals with Jay Dee’s intoxicating drum kicks. Now dabbling in other music genre’s, Jay went on to lace beats for artists like Macy Gray, D’Angelo, N’Dea Davenport and Erykah Badu. 2000 was a stellar year for Jay Dee, with his group Slum Village finally releasing their critically acclaimed “Fantastic Vol. II” through Goodvibe Recordings, he also received notoriety with many other acts. With the Ummah production team defunct (due to the breakup of Tribe Called Quest in '99), Jay Dee became a member of The Soulquarians, which includes Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson (The Roots), James Poyser and D’angelo. Jay produced a substantial amount of Common’s 2000 release “Like Water For Chocolate” which not only reached the homes of 500,000 consumers (LWFC went gold) but also secured Jay a distribution/recording deal with MCA Records for his McNasty label. In 2001 we were blessed with J Dilla’s first solo effort entitled “Welcome 2 Detroit” (BBE Records). The album showcases a few emcee’s from the Detroit area, but shows the versatility of Dilla and his craftiness. This 16 track ensemble of lyrical tracks, classic “instrumental” covers and bouncy grooves should solidify J Dilla as one of the illest producers of his era and beyond. The future will see the releases of Frank N Dank, a new Slum Village album (with some production by Dilla), Jaylib (Dilla & Madlib), as well as an instrumental series at Bling47.com and more solo efforts. He had suffered for over three years with an incurable blood disease and had also been diagnosed with Lupus. He died in February of 2006. R.I.P. Artist Titles (As Producer and/or MC): 1st Down - No Place To Go 12" single 1993 1st Down - A Day Wit The Homiez 12" Single 1995 (Pay Day Records) Slum Village - Fan-Tas-Tic 12" single 1996 Slum Village - Fan-Tas-Tic (Vol. 1) CD/LP 1996 (Donut Boy Recordings) Slum Village - We Be Down/Players 12" 1997 (Sudden Impact) Jay Dee - Jay Dee Unreleased (Remixes) 12" EP 1997 (House Shoes Records) Slum Village - Fantastic Vol. 2 CD/LP 2000 (Goodvibe) 2002 (Capitol) J-88 - Look Of Love (Remix) 12" single 1999 (Groove Attack) J-88 - Best Kept Secret 12" EP 2000 (Groove Attack) Jay Dee - Fuck The Police/Move, feat. Frank N Dank 12" single 2001 (Up Above) Jay Dee - Welcome 2 Detroit CD/LP 2001 (BBE) 1st Down - A Day Wit The Homiez CD 2002 (RonnieCash.com) Jay Dee - The Official Instrumental Series: Vol 1 12" EP 2002 (Bling47.com) Jay Dee feat. Frank N Dank - Take Dem Clothes Off/Off Ya Chest 12" single 2002 (ABB) Jay Dee feat. Frank N Dank - Push 12" EP 2002 (Mummy / Groove Attack) Jay Dee - Vintage 2003 CD/LP (Bling47.com) Jay Dee - Ruff Draft 12" EP 2003 (Mummy/Groove Attack) Jaylib - Champion Sound CD/LP 2003 (Stones Throw) Jaylib - Blaze Up, Raw Shit (Remix), The Mission (Remix) from Stones Throw 101 12" EP 2004 (Stones Throw) J Dilla - Donuts (2006, Stones Throw) J Dilla - Donut Shop (2010, Stones Throw) MC only: Tami Hert - If You Were Mine (Detroit Demolition Mix) from "If You Were Mine" 12" single 1997 (550 Music) v/a - Fight Club, feat. Dilla, Nottz & Boogie from "Best Kept Secret Mix" CD 2003 (Bling47.com) Dabrye - Game Over 12" single 2004 (Ghostly International) Wale Oyejide - There's A War Going On 12" single 2004 (Shaman Work) Wale Oyejide - There's A War Going On from "One Day, Everything Changed" CD/LP 2004 (Shaman Work) Slum Village - Reunion from "Detroit Deli" CD/LP 2004 (Barak/Capitol) Pete Rock - Niggaz Know from "Soul Survivor II" CD/LP 2004 (Rapster /BBE) v/a - Do Your Thang, Stupid from "BR Gunna Presents Dirty District Vol. 2" CD 2004 (Barak) Phat Kat - Door from "The Undeniable LP" (New Version) CD/LP 2004 (Barak) Production Credits (by year): 1994-1995 Da Enna C - NOW from "Throw Ya Hands In Da Air" 12" single 1994 (Up Top) Little Indian - One Little Indian 12" single 1995 (Premeditated) Poe - Fingertips from "Hello" CD/LP 1995 (WEA / Atlantic) 1996 5-Elementz - Whutchawant, Feed Back, Rockshows, Party Groove, Janet Jacme, E.G.O., Don't Stop, Searchin from "The Album Time Forgot" cassette 1996 (That Was Entertainment) A Tribe Called Quest - 1nce Again, Get A Hold, Keeping It Moving, Stressed Out, Word Play from "Beat, Rhymes, & Life" CD/LP 1996 (Jive Records) Busta Rhymes - Keep It Movin', Still Shinin' from "The Coming" CD/LP 1996 (Elektra) Busta Rhymes - Woo-Hah!! (Jay-Dee Bounce Remix), Woo-Hah!! (Jay-Dee Other Shit Remix) 12" single 1996 (Elektra) Busta Rhymes - It's a Party (Ummah Remix), Ill Vibe (Ummah Remix) 12" single 1996 (Elektra) De La Soul - Stakes Is High from "Stakes Is High" CD/LP 1996 (Tommy Boy) De La Soul - Stakes Is High (Remix) from Itzsoweezee 12" single 1996 (Tommy Boy) Mad Skillz - It's Going Down, The Jam from "From Where???" 1996 (Big Beat) Kieth Murray - The Rhyme (Remix), Dangerous Ground from "Enigma" 1996 (Jive) Natives Of Da Underground - Pack Da Hous/Brotha's Juss Don't Know/Whatcha Gonna Do? 12" single 1996 (ALR) Phife Dawg - Game Day from "NFL Jams" 1996 (Castle) Proof - Da Science from "Detroit Hip Hop Volume 1" 1996 Modern Tribe Proof - Vibe Session from "Anywhere" 12" single 1996 (Hip Hop Shop) Tha Pharcyde - Runnin', Bullshit, Splatittorium, Somethin' That Means Somethin', Drop, Y? from "Labcabincalifornia" CD/LP 1996 (Delicious Vinyl) 1997 5-Elementz - Sun Flower from "Yester Years" 12" EP 1997 (That Was Entertainment) A Tribe Called Quest - Get A Hold, Mardi Gras At Midnight from "Jam" EP 1997 (Jive Records) Brand New Heavies - Sometimes (Ummah Remix) from "Sometimes" 12" single 1997 (Delicious Vinyl) Busta Rhymes - So Hardcore from "When Disaster Strikes" CD/LP 1997 (Elektra) Crustation - Purple (ATCQ Edit) 12" single 1997 (Zomba) Janet Jackson - Got Til It's Gone (Ummah Jay Dee Revenge Mix) 12" single 1997 (Virgin) Somethin' For The People - All I Do (Remix) from "All I Do" 12" single 1997 (WB) T Da Pimp - Why You Lookin Hard?/We Knowwe Rockit 12" single 1997 (Penmp) Tha Pharcyde - She Said (Remix) 12" single 1997 (Delicious Vinyl) Tha Pharcyde - Runnin (Remix), Y? (Remix) from "Drop" 12" single 1997 (Delicious Vinyl) Truz - True Dawgs/Routes To Hell 12" single 1997 (Ad Fam) 1998 A Tribe Called Quest - 4 Moms, Against The World, Busta's Lament, Da Booty, Find A Way, His Name Is Mutty Ranks, Start It Up, Steppin' It Up from "The Love Movement" CD/LP 1998 (Jive Records) A Tribe Called Quest - That Shit from "Funkmaster Flex Vol. 3" 1998 (Loud Records) Bizarre - Butterfly from Attack of the Wierdos 12" EP 1998 (Federation) Mood - Secrets Of The Sand (Remix) from "Snake Backs" 12" single 1998 (Blunt) N'Dea Davenport - Bullshittin (Remix) from "N'Dea Davenport" CD/LP 1998 (V2) (mixed by Jay Dee) 1999 5 Ela - You Ain't Fresh, Ain't No Love from 5-E Pt. 3 1999 (That Was Entertainment) Brand New Heavies - Saturday Night (Jay Dee Remix) from "Saturday Night" 12" single 1999 (Delicious Vinyl) Heavy D - Listen from "Heavy" CD/LP 1999 (Universal) Macy Gray - I Try (Remix) 12" single 1999 (Epic) Nine Yards - Always Find A Way (Remix) 12" single 1999 (Virgin) Phat Kat - Dedication To The Suckers 12" single 1999 (House Shoes Recordings) Phife Dawg - Bend Ova/Thought U Wuz Nic 12" single 1999 (Groove Attack) Que D - Underestimated, Supa Shit, Kilo, Cash Flow, Michelle, Rock Box, Don't Stop from "Quite Delicious" cassette 1999 and "Que D Limited Edition" CD 2003 (Royal Flyness) Q-Tip - 11 tracks from "Amplified" CD/LP 1999 (Arista) The Roots - Dynamite from Things Fall Apart CD/LP 1999 (MCA) The Roots - New Year's @ Jay Dee's from "You Got Me" CD single 1999 (MCA) Zooco - Butterfly from "Glow-Mellow-Flow" CD/LP 1999? (Columbia Japan) 2000 Black Star - Little Brother from "The Hurricane (Soundtrack)" CD/LP 2000 (MCA) Brand New Heavies - Sometimes (Remix), Saturday Night (Remix) from "Trunk Funk Classics" CD/LP 2000 (Delicious Vinyl) Busta Rhymes - Enjoy Da Ride, Live It Up, Show Me What You Got from "Anarchy" CD/LP 2000 (Elektra) Common - 10 tracks from "Like Water For Chocolate" CD/LP 2000 (MCA) Common - The Light (Remix) from "Bamboozled (Soundtrack)" 2000 (Motown) De La Soul - Thru Ya City from "Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump" CD/LP 2000 (Tommy Boy) Erykah Badu - Cleva, My Life, Didn't Cha Know, Kiss Me On My Neck from "Mama's Gun CD/LP 2000 (Motown) Frank N Dank - Me & My Man/Love (A Thing Of The Past) 12" single 2000 (McNasty) Frank N Dank - Everybody Get Up/Give It Up Pt. 2 12" single 2000 (McNasty) Guru feat. Bilal - Certified from "Guru's Jazzmatazz Street Soul" CD/LP 2000 (Virgin) Innerzone Orchestra - People Make The World Go Round (J-88 Mix) - 12" single 2000 (Planet E) Phife Dawg - Bend Ova, 4 Horseman from "Ventilation: Da LP" CD/LP 2000 (Groove Attack) Phife Dawg - Ya Heard Me from "Definition of Ill Compilation" 2000 bootleg Royce Da 5'9" - Let's Grow from "Lyricist Lounge Volume 2" CD/LP 2000 (Rawkus) Spacek - Eve (Remix) 12" single 2000 (Blue) 2001 Bahamadia- One-4-Teen (Remix) from "Summer Sampler" CD 2001 (Goodvibe) Bilal - Reminisce from "1st Born Second LP" CD/LP 2001 (Interscope) Busta Rhymes - Genesis, Make It Hurt from "Genesis" CD/LP 2001 (Elektra) Chino XL - Don't Say A Word from "I Told You So" CD/LP 2001 (Metro Records) De La Soul - Peer Pressure (Intro & Outro Monologues by Jay Dee) from AOI: Bionix CD/LP 2001 (Tommy Boy) Lucy Pearl - Without You (Remix) 12" single 2001 (Pookie/Virgin) Mos Def - Can U C The Pride In The Panther? (Remix) 12" Single 2001 (Interscope) Que D - In Yo Face from "Still Bangin" 12" single 2001 (Up Above) and "Que D Limited Edition" CD 2003 (Royal Flyness) Toshi Kubota - Nothin But Your Love (Remix) 12" single 2001 (Epic) 2002 Big Tone - Party Crasher (mixed by Jay Dee) from Party Crasher 12" Antidote 2002 Busta Rhymes - It Ain't Safe No More, What Up, Turn Me Up Some from "It Ain't Safe No More..." CD/LP 2002 (Elektra) Common - various production & instrumental credits from "Electric Circus" CD/LP 2002 (MCA) DJ Jazzy Jeff - Are You Ready (with Slum Village) from "The Magnificent" 12" EP 2002 (BBE) Phat Kat - Dedication To The Suckers, Don't Nobody Care About Us, Microphone Master, Big Booties, World Premier from "Dedication To The Suckers" LP/CD 2002 (RonnieCash.com) Slum Village - Hoes, Let's, One from "Trinity" CD/LP 2002 (Capitol) Talib Kweli - Where Do We Go, Stand To The Side from "Quality" CD/LP 2002 (Rawkus) 2003 ASD (Afrob & Samy Deluxe) - Komm Schon from "Wer Hatte Das Gedacht?" CD/LP 2003 (Eimsbush) ASD (Afrob & Samy Deluxe) - Wenn Ihr Fuhlt... from "Hey Du" 12" EP 2003 (Eimsbush) Common - Come Close "Remix" (Closer) 12" single 2003 (MCA) De La Soul - Much More/Shoomp 12" single 2003 (AOI) Fourtet - As Serious As Your Life (Remix) 12" single 2003 Domino Frank N Dank - 48 Hours CD 2003 (Bootleg) Vivian Green - Fanatic (Remix) 12" Single 2003 (Sony) Phat Kat - Dedication 2004, Destiny, Big Booties from "The Undeniable LP: Detroit Edition" CD/LP 2003 Barak Records Que D - Supa Shit 12" single 2003 (Royal Flyness) Royce Da 5'9" - Life Goes On from "Build & Destroy: Lost Sessions Part 1" 2003 (Trouble Records) Subtitle - Mark Luv Mixtape Song from "Greatest Hi$$" CD 2003 (Marks03 Recordings) T-Love - When You're Older, Who Smoked Sunshine, Chiquita, Long Way Back from "The Long Way Back" 2003 (Pickininny) 2004 5 Ela - Scenario 2004 from "The EP" 2004 (5 Elements) Amp Fiddler - You Play Me, Waltz Of A Ghetto Fly from "Waltz Of A Ghetto Fly" CD/LP 2004 (Genuine/PIAS) Amp Fiddler - I Believe In You (Jaylib Mix) CD/12" single 2004 (Genuine/PIAS) Brother Jack McDuff - Oblighetto (J Dilla Remix) from "Blue Note Revisted" CD/LP 2004 (Blue Note) DJ Cam - Love Junkee (Remix) 12" single 2003 (Inflamable) and "Liquid Hip Hop CD/LP 2004 (Inflamable) Elzhi - Love It Here, Days & Nights, Concrete Eyes, Friends from Libido Speedo Presents..."Elzhi: Witness My Growth The Mixtape '97-'04" 2CD (Libido Sounds) Frank-N-Dank - Let's Go, Okay, MCA from "Xtended Play" CD/LP 2004 (Needillworks) Jaylib - Popshit from "Stones Throw 100" 12" (Stones Throw) Lawless Element - The Shining 12" single 2004 (RMR/Fat Beats) Oh No - Move from "The Disrupt" CD/LP 2004 (Stones Throw) Proof of D12 - Bring It 2 Me from "I Miss The Hip Hop Shop" CD/LP 2004 (Iron Fist) Slum Village - Do You from "Detroit Deli" CD/LP 2004 (Barak/Capitol) 2005 Copywrite - Clap, That's A Wrap, Alright from "Cruise Control Vol. 1" CD MED - Push (feat J Dilla) from "Push Comes To Shove" CD 2005 (Stones Throw) Oh No - Move Part 2 feat. J Dilla & Roc C 12" single 2005 (Stones Throw) User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License and may also be available under the GNU FDL.
- ▲ 0.3% 1 month change
- Star status
- Going Steady momentum
- 0 upcoming gigs
- 6 past gigs
- last.fm 404,264 listeners
- Soundcloud - plays/track
- YouTube - views/video
- Twitter - followers
- Facebook - fans
Collab RequestOnly send collab requests to people you have actually worked with.
Book Artist: J Dilla
- No upcoming gigs.
JACCC Plaza (Los Angeles) – J Dilla - 2010
Ruby Rabbit (Sydney) – J Dilla - 2010
The Bell House (Brooklyn) – J Dilla - 2010
Cargo (London) – J Dilla, 4hero - 2008
Little Radio Warehouse (Los Angeles) – J Dilla - 2007
Nouveau Casino (Paris) – J Dilla - 2005