J Dilla aka Jay Dee (Born James Yancey)
February 7, 1974 – February 10, 2006
J Dilla was a respected hip hop producer who rose to prominence during the late ’90s. He began getting noticed thanks to mid ’90s remixes for the likes of the Pharcyde, Janet Jackson and A Tribe Called Quest. In 1997, Jackson’s “Got ’til It’s Gone” won a Grammy. Even though Dilla produced it, he wasn’t credited, therefore didn’t receive the Grammy. Dilla began releasing his own albums in 2000, each of which were moderately successful, particularly throughout hip hop’s underground community. In 2003, he began collaborating with Los Angeles based producer and MC, Madlib. Together they recorded as Jaylib. Around that time, Dilla learned he was suffering from a rare blood disease that made it increasingly more difficult for him to get around. His health continued to deteriorate over the next few years. On February 10, 2006, 32-year-old J Dilla died of cardiac arrest.