Detroit hip hop legend J Dilla's record collection goes up for auction

Jan 24, 2013

A portion of the record collection belonging to Detroit artist J Dilla (James Yancey) is now for sale.

Since his death in 2006, the seminal hip-hop producer’s record collection had lain dormant in a storage unit maintained by his mother.

Now Dilla’s mother, Maureen “Ma Dukes” Yancey, is selling records from the collection through weekly Ebay auctions.

According to, buyers will receive an LP stamped and certified to prove they are in fact from Dilla’s collection.

His iconic album, “Donuts,” was reissued recently to glowing reviews.

Dilla made a name for himself in the early 2000s with a subdued sound described as “leisurely,” “warm and slightly off-kilter.”

Kelefa Sanneh of the New York Times called his beats “more digressive than declarative,” setting them apart from mainstream hip-hop and making them a perfect match for artists like Common and Erykah Badu.


[I]t was the imperfect, the mistakes in music that excited him. His signature sloppy, off-beat drum programming gave his tracks a feeling of freshness and spontaneity, standing in stark contrast to the mechanical, perfectly-quantized beats which characterized much of hip hop at the time.

In a continuing celebration of Dilla’s vision, Detroit will host its second annual Dilla Day Tribute Concert.

Taking place Feb. 9 at the Filmore, the show will include artists Royce da 5’ 9” and Talib Kweli.

- Cam Stewart, Michigan Radio Newsroom