Hip-hop has lost another icon. Thirty-two-year-old Detroit producer James Yancey (aka Jay Dee) helped pioneer the jazzy-rap movement of the 90's as part of A Tribe Called Quest's production crew, The Ummah.
He also offered the world a taste of Detroit-style hip-hop with his group of liquid associations known as Slum Village, paving the way for the likes of D-12, Royce da 5'9" and Trick Trick.
Jay Dee tracked 90 percent of MED's Push Comes to Shove and submitted two tracks ("Love Is" and "It's Your World") to Common's Grammy-nominated BE. As if determined to give the world one final taste of his sweet sonics, he continued to work on Donuts in his hospital bed, using portable production devices brought in by visitors.
Sadly, the funky instrumental blueprint known as Donuts arrived just three days prior to his passing. He died of complications from lupus (an autoimmune disease) on February 10, 2006.
My heartfelt condolences go out to Dilla's family and friends.