James Dewitt Yancey, better known by his stage name, J. Dilla, emerged in the mid-‘90s as one of Detroit’s leading hip hop figures. Before his unexpected death in February 2006 (from the rare blood disease TTP), he earned respect as part of the hip hop group Slum Village and by producing for revered artists such as Common, A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul and Erykah Badu. For his countless accomplishments and contributions to the industry, Dilla has been included on several of hip hop’s lists of “greatest producers.” Plain and simple, his name is synonymous with legend.

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