The Roots, Erykah Badu, Busta Rhymes Pay Tribute to J Dilla June 28, 2015

By Cortney Wills for Billboard, June 28, 2015

Los Angeles – Day three of BET Experience brought some serious hip-hop heads to L.A. Live’s Club Nokia on Saturday night (June 27). Black Thought, Questlove and the rest of The Roots were joined by Erykah Badu and a grab bag of other artists to pay homage to their fallen friend James Dewitt Yancey, better known as J Dilla.

The three-hour concert roared into the early morning hours and was full of surprise guests — including Lauryn Hill and Busta Rhymes — who were immeasurably influenced by the late producer’s music. Some offered stories about how they met the Detroit-native who died of a blood disease in 2006 and others just belted out the hits he helped them create.

Badu arrived on the stage with the help of a motorized skateboard that she stayed on for 20 minutes while she seduced the packed house with “Window Seat,” “On and On” and “Love Of My Life,” before bringing out the night’s first guest, Busta Rhymes.

The rapper battled a troublesome microphone during his performance of his 1997 hit “Put You Hands Where My Eyes Could See” and “Woo Hah!” and eventually ditched it before delivering a heartfelt monologue about Dilla. “Jump” and “Pass the Courvoisier” brought the whole crowd to their feet before Busta made his swift exit.

Next up was The Pharcyde, the Cali-bred group that Dilla used to DJ for, who served up “Runnin” and “Passing Me By” before Slum Village shocked the crowd by showing up to share some hits.

F the Police March 10, 2015

Record store day 2015.

J Dilla’s classic, out of print for over a decade, has been remastered from Dilla’s original mixes and issued on Pay Jay Productions as a badge-shaped 9“ picture disc single. Both the vocal and instrumental come straight from mix-downs that Dilla himself created. This limited edition 9″ badge-shaped picture disc single  comes in a thick, custom-made pocket fold-over, inserted into a Japanese-style, resealable clear plastic sleeve. Photos & the beat right here.

J Dilla x Stussy – DILLA COLLAGE February 13, 2015



This is the third t-shirt collaboration between the iconic street wear brand Stussy and The Estate of James Yancey.

Tees are on sale and shipping now from and Stussy. also has a limited supply of the J Dilla Figure.

J Dilla figure by Pay Jay December 2, 2014

Exclusive pre-order at for February 2015 release

The J Dilla Figure is an official Pay Jay Productions release, produced under the oversight of the Estate of James Yancey.

The Figure was conceived and rendered by Detroit artist Sintex, designed and sculpted by Seoul-based toy artist P2PL. It was manufactured by Blitzway on behalf of Pay Jay. It is a collaborative release with Stussy, whose logo is officially licensed.

The Figure is 7.5″ tall. The Figure’s hat, sampler and chain are removable and the Figure’s arms articulate. The Figure comes in a custom designed box, wrapped in paper to best attempt to protect the box from rubbing in shipping. The Figure comes in a clamshell case inside the box. Please note that the box is for the protection of the Figure during transportation and is not replaceable if damaged.

Pay Jay Productions was founded by J Dilla (James Yancey). The Estate of James Yancey is administered by attorney Alex Borden and overseen by the Probate Court of the State of California on behalf of Yancey’s four heirs – his mother, Maureen “Madukes” Yancey, his brother John “Illa J” Yancey and his two daughters, Ja’Mya Yancey and Ty-monae Whitlow.

J Dilla’s equipment donated to the Smithsonian July 23, 2014

James “J Dilla” Yancey is now enshrined in the Smithsonian as part of the collection at the National Museum of African American History & Culture.

J Dilla’s custom-made Mini Moog Voyager synthesizer and Akai MIDI Production Center 3000 Limited Edition have been donated to the museum by his mother, Maureen Yancey. They will be part of the “Musical Crossroads” exhibit when the museum opens in 2016.

“Musical Crossroads” will be one of the museum’s 11 inaugural exhibitions, and will also feature artists like Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Chuck Berry, George Clinton and Chuck D.

Smithsonian website: J Dilla Hip-Hop Collection Donated to National Museum of African American History and Culture

Magnif – The Shining Pt. 2 July 3, 2014

In 2004, with Lawless Element, Magnif released “The Shining” produced by J Dilla. Ten years later, he releases “The Shining Pt. 2″ with J Dilla production, officially licensed by the Estate of James Yancey and Pay Jay Productions.

J Dilla – Give Em What They Want June 10, 2014


From Dilla’s long-lost (and still tangled) album The Diary, “Give ‘Em What They Want,” 12-inch on clear vinyl with five tracks produced in 2002 by J Dilla and Supa Dave West, on Pay Jay Productions.

Dilla set out in 2002 to record an album collaborating with his favorite producers, and Supa Dave West was among them. The first two vocal tracks on this record are built around the same lyrics – “Give ‘Em What They Want” produced by Dilla and “The Doe” produced by West are typical of how he would re-record a track, changing his delivery to fit another producer’s beat.

The last vocal track “So Far,” also produced by Supa Dave West, will be familiar to some fans of MP3 bootlegs. On this record, it’s mastered for the first time by Dave Cooley, who worked on Donuts, The Shining and Ruff Draft.

Thanks to James & Karla Murray for the cover photo, from their book Store Front (Ginko Press). The label illustration is by Denise Nestor, based on a photo by B+. Sleeve by Jeff Jank. This was produced for reissue by Eothen Alapatt, with coordination from House Shoes, Henoch Moore and J Rocc.

Pay Jay Productions was founded by J Dilla (James Yancey). The Estate of James Yancey is administered by attorney Alex Borden and overseen by the Probate Court of the State of California on behalf of Yancey’s four heirs – his mother, Maureen “Madukes” Yancey, his brother John “Illa J” Yancey and his two daughters, Ja’Mya Yancey and Ty-monae Whitlow.

J Dilla by Denise Nestor at This Greedy Pig February 24, 2014

Dublin shop This Greedy Pig has two excellent J Dilla prints illustrated by Denise Nestor (based on the photograph by Brian “B+” Cross). One is black and white, and the other is a “frosted donut” print. This print is being sold in cooperation with The Estate of James Yancey and and image will be featured on the next J Dilla record, coming Spring 2014.

Link: J Dilla by Denise Nestor | J Dilla (Frosted) by Denise Nestor

Dilla Turn It Up T-shirt by Stussy February 9, 2014

On sale now at Stussy & Rappcats

When J Dilla lived and worked in Los Angeles, he was right around the corner from the Stussy office, and it was photograph of him working at home on his MPC wearing a Stussy T-shirt which kicked off this long running collaboration between Stussy and J Dilla’s Pay Jay Productions.

Stussy and Pay Jay have teamed up for this third commemorative J Dilla t-shirt in celebration of “Dilla Day 2014″ on February 7th, presented by Stussy & This tee is constructed of 100% soft cotton & made in Mexico. A crew neck t-shirt, which features an 2005 image of J Dilla (photo by Roger Erickson) along with Stussy graphics.

Pay Jay Productions is run by The Estate of James Yancey on behalf of Yancey’s four heirs – his mother, Maureen “Madukes” Yancey, his brother John “Illa J” Yancey and his two daughters, Ja’Mya Yancey and Ty-monae Whitlow.

Tributes 2014 January 24, 2014

February marks both J Dilla’s birthday (February 7, 1974) and the anniversary of his passing (February 10, 2006), as well as the release date of his opus Donuts in 2006. Ever since February 2007 there have been loving tributes held for J Dilla around the world. Here are a few in 2014.

J Dilla’s mother Maureen “Ma Dukes” Yancey and brother John “Illa Jay” Yancey will be at the events in Manchester UK, Bristol UK, and London. J Rocc will be spinning at the Los Angeles event. Slum Village will perform at the Miami event.

January 30: Manchester UK at The Roadhouse, with Illa J and Ma Dukes, 8 Newton Street, M1 2AN TICKETS

January 25: Paris at Le Bellevilloise, 19-21 rue Boyer, 75020

February 1: Albany NY at The Hollow Bar, 79 North Pearl St INFO

February 1: Los Angeles at Boombox with J Rocc & Frank Nitt, Grand Star Jazz Club, 943 N.Broadway, 90012

February 1: Bristol, UK at Exchange with Illa J and Ma Dukes, 72-73 Old Market, BS2 0EJ TICKETS

February 2: London at Scala with Illa J and Ma Dukes, 275 Pentonville Road, Kings Cross, N1 9NL TICKETS

February 7: Detroit – DILLA DAY DETROIT at Fillmore; 2115 Woodward Ave, 48201 TICKETS

February 7: Sydney, Australia at The Basement, 29 Reiby Place TICKETS

February 9: Detroit – DILLA YOUTH DAY at 5E Gallery, 4605 Cass Avenue, 48201 INFO

February 13: Miami at Bardot with Slum Village, 3456 N Miami Ave, 33186 TICKETS

February 15: Philadelphia at Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 Frankford Ave INFO

February 23: Washington DC at U Street Music Hall; 1115 U St NW, 20009 TICKETS