James Dewitt Yancey (February 7, 1974 – February 10, 2006), better known by the stage names J Dilla and Jay Dee, was an American record producer and rapper. He emerged in the mid-1990s underground hip hop scene in Detroit, Michigan, as a member of the group Slum Village. He was also a member of the Soulquarians, a musical collective active during the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Yancey died at the age of 32 from a combination of TTP and lupus. Although his life and career were short, J Dilla is considered one of the most influential producers in hip hop and popular music more broadly. According to The Guardian, "his affinity for crafting lengthy, melodic loops peppered with breakbeats and vocal samples took instrumental hip-hop into new, more musically complex realms."
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