J Dilla, a founding member of hip-hop act Slum Village, died Friday in Los Angeles. The Detroit-hailing rapper/producer succumbed to complications from lupus. He was 32.
Before his passing, J Dilla (born James Yancey and also known as Jay Dee) had been working on “The Shining,” the follow-up to his 2001 solo debut, “Welcome to Detroit.” The new album was scheduled for a June release via BBE Records.
“Jay was one of my favorite hip-hop producers of all time. His passion for music was a rare thing amongst people in the music industry,” BBE founder Peter Adarkwah said. “His music and presence will be sorely missed for many years to come.”
Since forming the rap trio Slum Village in the late 1990s with MCs Baatin and T3, J Dilla has worked closely with such artists as A Tribe Called Quest, Q-Tip, Common and the Pharcyde.
J Dilla left the group to pursue a solo career, and in 2003 released “Champion Sound” with fellow rapper/producer Madlib. J Dilla’s instrumental album “Donuts” was released last week by Stones Throw.