Detroit MC and producer Jay Dee, aka J Dilla of Slum Village succumbed to the ravages of kidney failure at his home in Los Angeles. He was 32.
In 2004, J Dilla revealed that he had kidney problems and in 2005, the rapper spent a considerable amount of time in the hospital fighting the disease, which causes the immune system to attack the body’s own tissue and organs, including the brain, heart, lungs, blood, kidneys, skin and other vital organs.
Jay Dee, who also founded rap group Slum Village, had celebrated his 32nd birthday just a week ago on Tuesday by releasing an album called “Donuts.” Jay Dee was born as James Yancey and soon rose to become an influential producer on the Detroit hip-hop scene.
His manager, Timothy Maynor announced his death and said that the kidney failure had come about as a complication of lupus. He added that even as he neared his end, Yancey remained in good spirits and was cheerful, “He was optimistic about working on future projects and doing future shows,” Maynor was quoted as saying by The Associated Press.
“We went over to Europe in December (to tour). He was sickly but at the same time, he wanted to be there. I told him, I’m prepared to carry you, if I have to carry you down stairs and put you on stage.” Yancey had been on dialysis for almost two years, he confirmed.
Paying rich tributes to Jay Dee, Peter Adarkwah, the founder of BBE Records said in a statement that Jay’s passion would be missed and he was very sad to learn of his death, “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. His music and presence will be sorely missed for many years to come,” the statement said.
Jay Dee was never much of a public figure and opted to remain in seclusion most of the time. However, in a recent interview to the hip-hop magazine XXL, he refuted rumors that he was in a coma, “I had a ruptured kidney and was malnourished from not eating the right kind of food. It was real simple, but it ended with me being in the hospital,” he had said.
While in the hospital and in his home studio, J Dilla also crafted the recently released instrumental album, Donuts.”Jay was one of my favorite Hip-Hop producers of all time,” said BBE Founder Peter Adarkwah. “His passion for music was a rare thing amongst people in the music industry. His music and presence will be sorely missed for many years to come.” Detroit rapper Guilty Simpson, who worked with J Dilla on various projects, is featured on The Shining.
In 2004, J Dilla revealed that he had kidney problems and in 2005, the rapper spent a considerable amount of time in the hospital fighting the disease, which causes the immune system to attack the body’s own tissue and organs, including the brain, heart, lungs, blood, kidneys, skin and other vital organs.According to the Lupus Foundation of America, approximately 1.5 million Americans have a form of the disease, which affects men and women of all ages. Lupus is two to three times more common among African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians and Native Americans.
In the most severe lupus cases, the immune system cannot tell the difference between foreign substances and its own cells and tissue. The immune system then creates antibodies to protect against its “self.”
Before his death, J Dilla had been working on The Shining, the follow-up to his 2001 solo debut Welcome To Detroit. The album was slated to drop independently, via BBE in June.
My Favorite Jay Dee song is “Plastic Dreams” aka the Soul Night Theme (Detroiters know what I am talking about)