James Dewitt Nancey (February 7, 1974-February 10, 2006), AKA J Dilla, was an American record producer and rapper and arguably one of the best of his time, working with huge musical acts such as A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Busta Rhymes, Erykah Badu, The Roots, The Pharcyde and Common.
He emerged from the 1990s underground hip hop scene in Detroit and was an original member of Slum Village. He was known for his unique ear for music and ability to create amazing tracks. He met his untimely death in 2006 due to a blood disease.
The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture is set to open in 2015 and will be a nationally known and widely respected institution, devoted to being a place where all Americans can learn about the richness and diversity of the African American experience and how it helped to shape this nation. As part of their upcoming 2016 exhibition, “Musical Crossroads”, Dilla’s mom donated his custom-built Minimoog Voyager synth and his Akai MIDI Production Center 3000 to be included in the art installation.
Along with his pieces, collections from Chuck D, George Clinton, Louis Armstrong and more will be included as well.
We’re looking forward to the opening in Washington, DC next year.