Dilla Gets His Due: The Smithsonian Acquires Equipment From Legendary Detroit Producer Jay Dee

August 15, 2014

By Travis Wright

"These two pieces of equipment really capture the skills he had in creating something out of something that already excited in a way, his ability to find a sample, to craft music out of existing tracks, and his creativity and his innovation, you know these two objects cvan be used to talk about that and so much more in hip-hop."

Dilla is gettin' his due.

The late hip-hop/R&B producer and Detroit icon James Yancey is recognized as one of the best beat-makers of our time under the monikers Jay Dee and J Dilla.

Getting his start in Detroit working with Slum Village, he went on to produce for living legends, such as Erykah Badu, A Tribe Called Quest, The Roots, and many more.

Culture City host Travis Wright speaks with Timothy Burnside, a popular culture historian with The Smithsonian who helped acquire Jay Dee's Akai MPC sampler and Moog synth for the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C