James Dewitt Yancey—better known as J Dilla, or Jay Dee—was a quiet genius taken to soon, dying of a cardiac arrest after a long illness with a rare blood disease. He had just turned 32. Described as "jazz's latest great innovator" and 'the Mozart of hip-hop', among other plaudits, and hailed by the biggest names in the scene, Yancey himself remained humble and shunned the spotlight.
With production credits for all from De La Soul to Erykah Badu, his solo work remained unheralded in his lifetime; posthumously he is now regarded as hip hop's greatest ever beat-maker. In a Fresh Soup special, DJ Simm pays homage to a modern musical magician.
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