J Dilla passed away in 2006, but his legacy lives on. Joey Bada$$ and Akomplice Clothing recently collaborated on project that saw Bada$$ rap over an unheard beat by the late producer. Also, later this year a 130-page book by Jordan Ferguson will be published that is inspired by Dilla’s life and classic album, Donuts. Dilla’s influence on hip hop and music as a whole is still felt years after his death, and that will continue with his instruments being donated to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.
A custom made Minimoog Voyager synthesizer and Akai MIDI Production Center 3000 Limited Edition will be donated by Dilla’s mom to the museum. As the Smithsonian website says: “The items will be part of the museum’s growing arts and entertainment collection designed to explore how popular music helped shape the nation’s history and culture politically and socially.”
Dilla will be joining the likes of Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Chuck Berry and Chuck D when the museum opens in 2016. When explaining why she is donating Dilla’s instruments, his mother said: “I feel it’s necessary to raise the level of art appreciation in the hip-hop sector and honour my son James Dewitt Yancey, one of the most influential individuals in the history of hip-hop.”