Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Floydian last won the day on January 22 2006

Floydian had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

668 Excellent

About Floydian

  • Rank
  • Birthday 11/21/1984

Contact Methods

  • Website URL

Profile Information

  • Name

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. because like usual, you posted absolutely nothing of substance. i can't wait until the next elections so i can get off this site forever edit: scratch that last part.
  2. ah. no. i was just simply giving reasons as to why you shouldn't pick gonzaga to go far. although, come to think of it, gonzaga's genetic make-up this year is similar to last year, replacing turiaf with batista. and i disagree that they are the best team in the oakland bracket. i think they are the 5th best team in that bracket. :\
  3. no. it really has nothing to do with last year. or any year in the past, for that matter. they were the most overrated team in college basketball this year. an important statistic to think about when talking about gonzaga: they were 1-3 against teams that are in the ncaa tournament. and also, they haven't played a good team in almost three months now. and even though they managed to win all of their games in the WCC, they have certainly had moments of vulnerability in an extremely weak conference. they would've been lucky to win 15 games if they were in the big east. this is somewhat irrelevent, but i don't know why adam morrison has been receiving such a large amount of consideration for player of the year. he just doesn't display the attitude or sportsmanship one looks for in the player of the year. example: against san diego in the wcc tournament, morrison said to cory belser, "you're a role player. did your family come to watch your last game?" in a previous match-up between the two, morrison told belser if he got hit by a train and died, he wouldn't care. funny, considering gonzaga barely squeaked by san diego in two of the three games they played against each other this year.
  4. my school will be in the final four. apparently, i'm the only person to make this pick. a lot of you people will have your bracket busted by having gonzaga go that far. edit: villanova's allan ray's horrendous injury in that game against pittsburgh. warning: do not view if you have any food in your stomach.
  5. Remembering Jay Dee James Yancey a.k.a. Jay Dee, a.k.a. J.Dilla (1974-2006) from prefixmag (link) By: Bryan Whitefield Jay Dee, born James D. Yancey, was one of the few artists whose records were bought on sight, played until digested and then discussed among fans and critics (usually on Okayplayer), where an entire legion of Dilla devotees lurks). He kept hip-hop relevant long after many of its greatest heroes had left it for dead, at least creatively. There are many talented beat-makers and producers, but there will only be one Jay Dee. It was his friend Amp Fiddler who taught Jay Dee the basics of the MPC sampler/drum machine/sequencer. Jay, now widely acknowledged as the father of the Detroit hip-hop sound, proved to be somewhat of a prodigy, absorbing every record or sound he heard and logging it for future use. His first stab at recording was 1995’s “No Place to Go,” the single by his group with Phat Kat, First Down. But he gained more notoriety after forming Slum Village with two friends from high school, T3 and Baatin, and creating the now infamous Fantastic Vol. 1 (1996). Legend has it that a cassette copy of that record got into the hands of the Roots’ Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and made him an instant fan. Questlove passed the album to friends such as Common and D’Angelo, but it wasn’t until 1996, when Jay Dee joined the Ummah production team with A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammed, that people started to really get a taste of Dilla’s sound. After making friends and connections at New York City’s Battery Studios, Jay Dee started to do solo production work for a number of hip-hop’s elite. But even after producing classic tracks such as De La Soul’s “Stakes Is High,” the Pharcyde’s “Runnin” and several of the best on Tribe’s Beats, Rhymes and Life album (including both singles), he was still largely unknown. Two of his biggest records, Janet Jackson’s “Got ’Til It’s Gone” and a re-working of one of his beats that turned into 2Pac’s posthumous “Do for Love” track, were never officially credited. After numerous label problems (including a release of the album on both Capitol and GoodVibe) the much-bootlegged Fantastic Vol. 1 was finally released in full form as the hip-hop masterpiece Fantastic Vol. 2 in 2000. I remember seeing House Shoes spin at St. Andrews in Detroit a month after the album was released. Within two notes of “Raise It Up” the place went wild, proving that this was an anthem long before a record label decided to put its stamp on it. That was a big year for Jay Dee. His made beats for the likes of Busta Rhymes, Black Star and Guru, and he produced most of Q-Tip’s solo album, Amplified. That was also the year that Dilla, along with Questlove and producer/songwriter James Poyser, co-founded the Soulquarians crew, which went on to include D’Angelo, Erykah Badu, Common, Q-Tip, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, the Roots and Bilal. Although Jay has spoken of his nerves being in a room full of “musicians” equipped only with old records and his MPC, he went on to be a driving force behind Common’s Like Water For Chocolate (giving Common his biggest hit yet with “The Light”), D’Angelo’s classic Voodoo album, as well as being a major contributor to Erykah Badu’s equally important Mama’s Gun. In 2001 Jay Dee released his most personal record, BBE’s Welcome to Detroit. This album displayed his wide-ranging musical ear, introduced the world to local emcees Elzhi, Phat Kat, Frank ’n’ Dank and Ta’Raach, and firmly established him as a capable emcee in his own right. His next official album was 2003’s Champion Sound, a collaboration with Madlib. Released under the name Jaylib on the Stones Throw label, the project was born out of mutual admiration, and it saw the two making beats for each other to rhyme over and collaborating largely through beat tapes sent through the mail. In between, Jay Dee released the extremely rare Ruff Draft EP and “Fuck the Police” twelve-inch, a legendary remix for Four Tet’s “As Serious As Your Life” featuring another Detroit emcee, Guilty Simpson, and a series of unreleased Dilla instrumental albums hand-picked by Jay Dee’s longtime friend and production protégé Waajeed. But around that time, Jay Dee’s health started to fail. According to the Detroit Free Press, he was diagnosed with a rare blood disease, and for the next four years he’d be in and out of the hospital. In an effort to expand creativity and improve his health, he moved to Los Angeles, where he continued to contribute production for various Stones Throw artists. Last year, Jay Dee was the only other person besides executive producer Kanye West invited to add tracks to his L.A. roommate Common’s album, Be. But his final offering is Donuts (two other projects, The Shining and Jay Love Japan, are completed, and he also finished production work for artists such as Ghostface, Busta Rhymes, Madlib, Phat Kat, MF Doom, Skillz, Frank ’n’ Dank, and others). That album was released on his thirty-second birthday, February 7, three days before he died, apparently of complications from the autoimmune disorder lupus. (Memorial contributions can be made to Maureen Yancey, 132 N. Sycamore Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036; or, via bank wire, to Wells Fargo Bank of Los Angeles, California, Routing Number 122000247, Account Number 6043250676. Donations will be considered a gift of help, not a charitable donation.) Donuts may be the clearest path to finding his creative genius: a forty-two-minute beat-tape sketchbook of all original material. It showed Dilla’s ability to chop anything he put his hands on and make it brand new. It was also, as revealed by Questlove and confirmed by a representative from Stones Throw, largely made during extended stays at the hospital, using a mess of original 45s, a Numark portable turntable and a Powerbook. The day before we would find out about Jay Dee’s passing, Waajeed and Stones Throw artist Koushik hosted an all-night listening party for Donuts in New York City. It would become an all-night tribute to the man’s passing. The night was a reminder of Jay Dee’s vast catalog and a proper preview to an album that, like all things Dilla, must be played at full volume to be fully appreciated. Because he seldom did press, we knew Jay Day best through his music. According to his mother and people who knew him, that was always the most important thing in his life and how he will forever be remembered. Many have written thoughts about Jay Dee (check Black Thought’s post on Myspace and Questlove’s February 11 and February 15 Myspace blog posts), but Prefix talked to musicians, friends, and fellow artists and producers about Jay Dee, his work, and his legacy. *** J. Dilla had just moved to Los Angeles when I first had the chance to meet him. The most unassuming cat in a room, quiet and reserved. We spoke barely a word. I mean, this is the man who brought so many songs that have made me love music, what could I say to him at the time? I had my chance later when I briefly joined the record-release shows for Madvillian in L.A. and San Francisco. He was performing with Madlib as Jaylib. We got stuck at Oakland International Airport for a few hours waiting for a ride into town. MF Doom had taken off with his manager in a taxi. We were doing nothing; J-Rocc was on the phone, Madlib had wandered off, crew from Stones Throw were running around getting vehicles together. Jay is just sitting staring into space, in his head. I had brought a little Casio to mess with for just these kind of touring moments of quiet. Jay seemed to wake up a bit to the sound. We talked for a moment about it and he asked to play a little. That seemed to be all it took. He really lit up playing it. I think that whole time he was sitting there he was thinking about music. He really lived it. ~Daedelus, producer *** Jay Dee is the greatest hip-hop producer of all time, as far as I'm concerned. I feel blessed to have been able to hear and collect his music over the last twelve years; I feel honored that I was able to collaborate with him on the song "Antiquity" by Dwight Trible & The Life Force Trio, and I feel lucky that while he lived in L.A. I got to know him. He is a fellow Aquarian whose musical and creative gifts will live on with me for all of my days. ~Carlos Nino, Ammon Contact, Los Angeles *** A trend-setter, hip-hop's elite. He gave his life for this shit. What else can I say? ~A.G. of D.I.T.C. *** Jay Dee was a producer’s producer, and not just in a press-release way. The dude made us all feel wack in a way that I can’t even explain to you. He was real black music with the soul out there on the floor, pushing every angle to take soul places it has never been before. He took sounds from other dimensions and infused soul into them. He made exactly what he wanted to hear and didn't think of how it was gonna sound on an A&R’s table — and he walked away with every shred of credibility and creativity that we all wish we had. Technically, he was a genius. Not a technical nerd (I wish he was), but really he was just that good — almost like he was from another planet. If God gives talent, Jay's was hip-hop, and he even kept God guessing. Dilla invented trends, never followed ’em. ~Diplo, deejay and producer *** I connected in a special way with J. Dilla through his music. There was a soulful connection that you will hear on the upcoming Fishscale album. What upsets me most is that Jay Dee never got a chance to hear the finished song, but I know he’ll love it when he hears it up top with God. ~ Ghostface, emcee *** To me, Jay Dee meant more to me than being a “hot producer.” He was one of the few who seemed to be willing to be a martyr for the art. I’m sure there were many times that it crossed his mind that he could follow the current formula, whatever that may be, in order to cash in and elevate his known status to the next level. Besides beats, his rap flow was truly next level. Very few were able to find the pockets that he found and play with cadence like he did. To those who saw this, he made they jaws drop. Jay Dee pushed me to find my own voice and flavor. I learned a lot by studying his techniques and then realizing that we all have the freedom to experiment. That takes guts to do when some things are not embraced by the music world as a whole. One thing I noticed is that during interviews, journalists rarely seemed to ask him about the technical side of what he did with music. This irked me. I would’ve loved to hear about when and how he decided to start messing with the timing of his drum programming and what propelled him to do as such. When I did my collab with Dilla, I was given the opportunity to actually go to Detroit and work with him at his spot. I opted not to, almost as if I subconsciously didn’t want to learn that he was mortal. Silly me. A big regret, indeed, and I never got to know him personally, but I’m very glad to be a part of his discography. Dilla means the world to me. I will miss his guidance and creativity. ~Moka Only, a.k.a. Torch, emcee, producer *** Jay's beats and techniques inspired me so much and taught me how to really capture the best part of track. You could sort of see how Jay listened to tracks by just hearing what he chose to loop or chop. He was a real listener and fan of great music of all types, which is the most essential quality in a good artist and producer. One of the best. ~Boom Bip, producer, Los Angeles, California *** Dilla definitely was my favorite in the later years. Thanks to him, that good-vibe hip-hop production stayed alive. That is entirely what I'm on, and I had no other choice but to rock to Jay Dee's outstanding production. It is a sad time for true hip-hop heads, and we all should be thankful to have even experienced Dilla's sound. I vow to carry the torch like Slum Village did for Tribe. I really mean this. ~Jneiro Jarel, emcee, producer, Philadelphia *** J. Dilla = Dondi = Paul C. The legend continues. ~Count Bass D, emcee, producer, Nashville, Tennessee *** I want to send my condolences to Jay's family on their great loss. We will never forget Jay's contributions to our lives personally and to the art of music as a whole. We as Detroit producers and artists will continue on the path of musical innovation and integrity that he offered as a gift to the rest of the world. Through his music and in our hearts, Jay will live on until the end of time. R.I.P. ~Afra Behn, Detroit, Michigan *** Peter Adarkwah, the founder of BBE Records, said he was "deeply saddened by the news. 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." *** Time to celebrate one of hip-hop’s greatest producers ever. Play this man's music till time ends. Respect to all family and friends of Jay Dee. "From Allah (God) we begin, and to Allah we return." ~Tableek from Maspyke *** In many ways I feel those who remain have a duty to carry on the music that he can no longer create. I hope to do my small part to progress in musical directions he has yet to cover, in memory of him. Jay Dee was, and continues to be, a huge influence in my hip-hop composition. I love his music and love the journey I had to take to wrap my mind around what he created. A pioneer and a legend, without a doubt. "Now clap your hands to what he's doing…" ~Miles Bonny, producer, Kansas City *** The news of Dilla's death this week has been one of the hardest things I've ever had to deal with in my life. His passing brings more sadness than I can express, for lots of different reasons. The main reason is losing of one of my closest friends for the past fifteen years and knowing that I will never hear his laugh again. The second reason, and the one that upsets me the most, is knowing that the world never truly realized his brilliance during his lifetime. Thanks to everybody who came out to the Donuts listening party in NYC on the eve of Dilla's passing. Somehow I think he heard us that night and it made his transition easier. I also want to thank Mrs. Yancey for keeping everybody so strong and looking after him as only a mother could. She's not just his mother; she's been a mother to everybody through these last couple of years. Thanks also to Common and Peanut Butter Wolf and the rest of the Stones Throw Crew for everything they have done for Dilla and his family. Lastly, I want to thank you, Jay Dee, for being a constant source of inspiration for all of us. It's a shame you had to go, but somehow I think you knew you didn't have much time, and that's why you always worked so tirelessly. Your contributions go deeper than music. I appreciate that and want to do the same. I miss you and look forward to seeing you again. ~Waajeed, Platinum Pied Pipers and Bling 47 *** Dilla was a true inspiration for all of us. Whether you knew him personally or were a fan of his music, he had the ability to touch all of our souls. Dilla, thank you for the music. May your legacy live on. ~Diane Payes, Senior Director of Marketing/Publicity, ABB Records, Oakland, California *** For me he's the number-one beat maker, bounce generator and soul creator of the sample generation. ~DJ2D2, producer, FatProducts, Powder Room, ScannerFM.com-Barcelona, Spain *** Jay was a living bridge, the only true bridge between hip-hop's underground and mainstream. What I've gotten from this experience is that no compromise whatsoever should be made for the sake of appeasing the masses, especially since at the end of the day, real hip-hop ain't shit without its dirty essence, nature and soul. This is something that Dilla came to realize and live out at the end...I think he made Donuts with this realization in mind. Listen to what he was saying...he knew what he was doing...he left us with an important message, and now he's a bridge to the other side. ~Giant Step artist GB, nee Gabriel Reyes-Whittaker *** J. Dilla was the most consistently innovative hip-hop musician I have ever heard. ... It wasn’t just hip-hop heads who loved or adored Dilla, musicians did, too. ... When you look at the phases of great hip-hop producers that we’ve gone through, none of them has covered so many genres so effortlessly. [Dilla] had a way of putting that thump into a piece of music that had you coming back weeks later trying to figure out what he had done. He was also a dope emcee. ... His style and delivery were effortless, hard, gritty street sophistication — pure class. Anything he did in music, he put a stamp on it ... The way he brought peoples’ attention to beat-making was mesmerizing. His programming and arrangement have become a blueprint in how to keep a beat moving ... his use of electronic equipment was rivaled only by Madlib... He could use a sample that everybody used and make it special ... He was a one-off ... You cannot put people next to Dilla — you build them another category ... All of the serious beat-makers know he was a Miles Davis or John Coltrane of the art form ... and I will sum it up with this: There are not four elements in hip-hop, there are now five. Beat-making or producing is the fifth element, and Dilla was the main man that made us aware of that. God bless you, Jay Dee. ~Big Dada artist TY, London *** J. Dilla [was] an amazing human being. How many producers would be in a hospital bed with an MPC and vinyl making music? Dilla's love for his craft was beyond incredible, and it goes without saying that that love shined through in all his work. A true legend in hip-hop, never to be forgotten. ~DJ Chief-One, Port Chester, N.Y. *** Dilla pioneered an era that gave many producers a head start. Dude is a legend and definitely one of best that ever touched the MPC. ~Locsmif, producer, Atlanta, Georgia *** Jay Dee could hear soul music in any genre or any style. ~Eliot Lipp, producer, Los Angeles *** I really respected his sound and production value, the fact he stayed true to himself and made music from the soul. He will be missed. Like Pete Rock or Primo, he changed the way cats made tracks, pushed the envelope and had many biters ..., which is a sign of his influence in itself. I’d have to put him up there as one of my favorite producers. ~Ubiquity artist Ohmega Watts *** Everyone at Ubiquity was deeply saddened to hear of J. Dilla’s passing at such a young age. Jay was a musical genius and extremely versatile, as skilled in production as he was behind the microphone. I remember working with him on the Platinum Pied Pipers project and being a little frustrated because he showed up unprepared without lyrics but then being amazed at how quickly he could actually put a song together. Our sincerest sympathy goes out to his family. ~Michael McFadin, co-founder and president, Ubiquity Records Inc. *** J. Dilla has been in my thoughts since [February 10] when I got the text. I've been listening to Donuts over and over again. The beats are crazy. Him chopping up soul tunes, his new style; he brought the handclaps in and made it cool to use ’em and now everyone's been using ’em. This whole neo-soul shit is Jay Dee (which he never got credit for). We went to Pittsburg on a record run. We was back to back, and it was great. Dude had a real big heart. Dilla, you will be missed. ~Kenny Dope, deejay and producer *** J. Dilla was the greatest beat-maker of our time. His sound and style influenced and inspired so deeply that he single-handedly changed the sound of hip-hop and soul music, bringing back the organics, the musicality and the groove. He was one of a kind, a master of his craft and will be remembered for all time. He made our world a better place. Rest in peace to a true original and master of the game. ~Mark de Clive-Lowe, producer, London *** J is absolutely the most influential producer to bless the boards in the past decade, period. His talent spawned a whole new sound in hip-hop, R&B and soul music. I can honestly say that I have developed a bit of Dilla-ism in my approach to making beats at times. He was undeniably every producer's favorite producer. He kept cats on their toes and was always ahead of himself. His vibe was infectious, electrifying and mystical. J. Dilla is an innovator and a true legend of our generation. I'm going to miss him. ~DJ Spinna, Brooklyn *** From day one the only thing he was trying to do was bring good music to the masses the way he heard it. ... I always told him that he was the best to ever do it and he was light years ahead of us and it showed in his work. ... For me to just be around him throughout the whole creative process was priceless. ... Words can’t even express how much I’m already missing him ... but as long as we continue to keep creating good music, J. Dilla’s spirit will live on. ~Phat Kat, a.k.a. Ronnie Cash, Detroit, Michigan *** We have lost something that will never be replaced. James Yancey, 1974-2006, rest in peace. We love you. ~House Shoes, deejay, Detroit, Michigan *** Dilla was the best. He taught me so many things. No man can match his level of creativity in the lab. He was an emcee, producer, father, mentor, and a true friend. I’m just thankful to have been able to work with him for the short period of time I did. He will never be forgotten. ~Guilty Simpson, emcee, Detroit, Michigan *** Jay Dee's music touched a lot of lives, and while he will be dearly, dearly missed, we can all celebrate that his music will live forever. ~Fat Beats, record store, label, New York City/Los Anegles/Amsterdam *** Last weekend we lost one of the most gifted musicians on the planet — one of the most inspiring producers of our time, and in my opinion the best beat-maker that ever was. The producer’s producer. I awoke in my hotel room in Tokyo absolutely devastated to find out that James Yancey, Jay Dee, J. Dilla, had passed away. Anyone who listens regularly to my show will know how I feel about this man’s music and know also that his music is at the core of what this radio program is all about. One of the things that I find most upsetting about his passing is that I don’t feel that he was fully recognized by the mainstream for the genius that he was. Not yet anyway. Like many great artists, maybe it will be only in death that he finds the recognition that he truly deserved in life. ~Benji B, BBC Radio 1 (2/16/06) *** Today we lost an artist/producer, a legend and, most of all, a friend. Much love and support to the family, and thanks to all for the outpouring of love and prayers. J. Dilla, you will be with us in everything we do. ~T3 and Elzhi of Slum Village *** One tribute, a series of tributes, this message, can't possibly encompass what his mere influence has meant to me. If anything, my entire catalog would be my tribute. From my first loop I ever made in Goldwave to the last song I'll ever finish, if there wasn't a Jay Dee, there wouldn't be the sound that is Obsidian Blue. Point blank. ~Obsidian Blue, producer, Oklahoma City *** I think every real producer in the game was influenced by this man, even if they didn’t know it. He lives through every one of us. Through every snare, kick and hi-hat, you will hear the message of J. Dilla. God bless. Rest in peace. ~King Britt, Philadelphia, deejay, producer *** Certainly one of the most important producers of our time. … Apart from his incredible impact on music, which we all know about, my most poignant memory of Jay Dee was simply how humble and modest a fellow he was. Meeting him the first time I was filled with trepidation that he'd be this overbearing hip-hop monster, all blinged up and stuff, so you can understand how relieved I was when we got straight into a conversation about Cal Tjader. Pure music, man. He'll be missed. ~Gilles Peterson, BBC Radio 1, London *** Dilla changed the game for hip-hop producers, period. From Keith Murray to the Pharcyde, the Ummah to the Soulquarians, Jaylib, Spacek, D’Angelo, the Roots, Frank ’n’ Dank, Slum Village and Platinum Pied Pipers, and the zillions of other remixes and originals he blessed us with before leaving us for a better place. His drum-programming sensibilities and sample-chopping techniques were second to none, and everybody and their momma knows that. When we lose our pioneers so young, it’s disheartening to us all on a fundamental, human level. Many of us also have extremely personal reasons why losing Dilla hurts us so badly, us specifically meaning the musical community many of us share, and even more specifically my fellow young black mavericks as a whole. We have less and less of those mavericks by the minute these days, and when one dies so young, due to physical failure rather than a bullet or the other dumb shit we’re used to seeing kill our men, it hurts even more, because death becomes a bit more tangible to the average person at that point. I just hope to God that his passing reminds those of us who are musically conscious that there is great work to do in continuing the lost art of penetrating the mainstream without compromising our creative license and sticking to our guns by allowing our style to guide our path, rather than be guided by our “need” to be embraced by the musical ivory tower. I think Dilla was a shining example of the idea that the truth will indeed come to light one day... that artists in the music business need not chase industry-standard pipe dreams in order to be heard, and hopefully be respected and admired as Dilla so incredibly was by a wide and diverse audience of people. The work he put in in his short time with us is to be honored and remembered, and that work deserves hall-of-fame credentials immediately. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and I have a hard time remembering when another producer created so many “me too” followers of the light he shined on people with his work, in such a sincerely short period of time. Shine on, Dilla. ~Rich Medina, Kindred Spirits USA ***
  6. two hours of j dilla on mp3 http://www.hiphopmusic.com/archives/001505.html
  7. http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2006602230496 Jay Dee's last days The untold story of the noted Detroit hip-hop producer's drive to make music in the face of life-threatening illness February 23, 2006 It was near the end of summer 2005, and James Yancey was sitting in a hospital bed at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles. He couldn't walk. He could barely talk. And after spending most of the winter and spring in the hospital, receiving treatment for a rare, life-threatening blood disease and other complications, he had been re-admitted. His body was killing him, and little could be done about it. It was a grim prognosis, but it wasn't deterring him from tinkering with his electronic drum machine. In the sterile white hospital room, the tools of his trade surrounded him: turntables, headphones, crates of records, a sampler, his drum machine and a computer, stuff his mother and friends from L.A.-based record label Stones Throw had lugged to his hospital room. Sometimes his doctor would listen to the beats through Yancey's headphones, getting a hip-hop education from one of the best in the business. Yancey tampered with his equipment until his hands swelled so much he could barely move them. When the pain was too intense, he'd take a break. His mother massaged his fingertips until the bones stopped aching. Then he'd go back to work. Sometimes he'd wake her up in the middle of the night, asking to be moved from his bed to a nearby reclining chair so he could layer more hard-hitting beats atop spacey synths or other sampled sounds, his creations stored on computer. Yancey told his doctor he was proud of the work, and that all he wanted to do was finish the album. Before September ended, he'd completed all but two songs for "Donuts," a disc that hit stores on Feb. 7, his 32nd birthday. Three days after its release, he died. Yancey, better known as Jay Dee or J Dilla, is acknowledged as the father of the Detroit hip-hop sound. Some people call him a creative genius, and his streetwise but soulful and musically tight production style influenced some of the world's biggest rap and R&B stars, from Kanye West to Janet Jackson to Erykah Badu, many of whom he worked with. He was a champion of Detroit's urban music scene, and in the mid-'90s, when hip-hop was dominated by the East and West coasts, he put a distinct Motor City sound on the national map -- and provided inspiration to then-unknowns like Eminem, D12 and his own group, Slum Village. As his reputation rose, he persisted with his distinct connection to the musical underground, serving as a sort-of people's champion of the non-commercial hip-hop scene. Just as he was poised for even greater fame, he got sick -- a medical odyssey that would put him in and out of hospitals for the better part of four years, racking up staggering medical bills. The instigator was a rare and incurable blood disease, but the complications were many, including recurring kidney failure, severe blood-sugar swings, immune system issues, heart trouble and what might have been lupus. While rumors swirled in hip-hop circles that he was sick, the extent -- and specifics -- of his health concerns were largely kept secret. Yancey was not the type who wanted others to know about his problems. Even some of his closest friends didn't know what he did: Death was soon coming. Since his death, fans have gathered to mourn his passing and celebrate his legacy, a mood that will continue today at a public Detroit memorial service. And for the first time, those who saw Yancey's struggles first-hand, including his mother and doctor, are talking about his final days. January 2002: Something's wrong Yancey first realized something was wrong in January 2002 after coming back from a gig in Europe, two years after Slum Village's first national release, "Fantastic Vol. 2." Instead of going to his home in Clinton Township, he went to his parents' house on Detroit's east side, complaining that he had a cold or the flu. It was unusual behavior. Even as a kid he'd liked his privacy, but that night he needed to be with his mother, Maureen Yancey, hoping that she could somehow make it all better. He was sick to his stomach. He had chills. And after he lay down, he said he felt worse. His mother took him to the emergency room at Bon Secours Hospital in Grosse Pointe. His blood platelet count was below 10. It should have been between 140 and 180. Doctors told his mother they were surprised that he was still walking around. Soon, a specialist from Harper Hospital would diagnose a thrombotic thrombocytopenic pura or TTP, a rare blood disease that causes a low platelet count. Abnormal cells were eating away the good cells. Doctors told him there was no cure or direct treatment. Yancey stayed in the hospital for about a month and a half. Within weeks he had to go back for the same thing -- a trend that would continue for more than four years. Despite the looming health problems, Yancey moved to L.A. about two years after he was diagnosed, determined to make music. Some things went well, including a musical collaboration and friendship with the rapper Common, who became his roommate. But he began to feel worse, and he met with a blood specialist who told him that in order to live, he'd have to endure medications and hospital treatments. In November 2004, Yancey called his mother and asked if she'd come out to L.A. to help take care of him. Disease leads to kidney failure Yancey went into the hospital shortly after his mom arrived, and he stayed until March 2005. His mother, who slept at the hospital, never left his side. She began to take the reins of her son's health issues, which included mounting bills. He had to take anti-immune and anti-inflammation steroids. A medication designed to suppress his immune system gave him high blood sugar, and he was taken off it. The TTP also led to kidney failure. His kidneys would shut down, spring back, shut down again. The three-times-a-week, four-hour dialysis treatments were sometimes so painful he had to be unhooked from the machine. Because he was lying in bed for long periods, his legs swelled, making it difficult to walk. He needed a wheelchair or a walker or cane -- the latter he used when he could get out to the music store to look for records, or to a nearby fruit market to get juice or a 7-Eleven Slurpee, a treat. Sometimes he would forget how to swallow and would have to relearn. He lost 50% of his weight. "A lot of times, just when we would get ready to get going, he would get sick again," Maureen Yancey said. "He was so tired of going back. It was very sedentary. Just watching him, it was sad at times. He couldn't do what he wanted to." In 2005, weeks before his 31st birthday, doctors diagnosed something that looked like lupus, a chronic inflammatory disease that can affect the skin, joints, blood and kidneys. His doctor said it was probably what contributed to the low platelet count and the frequent swelling and pain in his hands. Sure, those long hospital stays had plenty of undesirable consequences. But it was the inability to touch the music, to pick it out of records bins, twist it and create it, that made those long stays feel never-ending. The hospital bills mount Even though he had insurance through the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, the cost to keep Yancey alive was steep, and he had to pay much of it himself. Bills for the lengthy hospital stays topped $200,000 each time. Dialysis three times a week cost $1,800. Each once-a-week shot to raise his hemoglobin cost $1,800. He had dozens of prescriptions -- $700, $900 or even $2,000 out of pocket per bottle. He had large co-pays -- one was $6,700 a week -- because he had to see specialists. His mother, who today gets medical invoices almost daily, has yet to total up the costs. His plan was to make more music -- he had a project lined up with Will Smith -- to pay the bills and leave money to take care of his Detroit-based daughters, Ja-mya Yancey, 4, and Ty-monet Whitlow, 5. To pay the bills, Maureen says, she'll work the rest of her life if she has to. A Detroit friend steps in Mike Buchanan, better known as DJ House Shoes, first met Yancey in the mid-'90s at Street Corner Music in Beverly Hills. House Shoes worked there and Yancey was a wanna-be music producer on the hunt for albums. After Yancey moved to L.A., their friendship waned. In early 2005, House Shoes heard the rumor that Yancey was in a coma and might not pull through. He booked a flight to L.A. and packed a bunch of CDs -- random beats CDs, a mix-tape CD that House Shoes had recently released and anything else he thought Yancey would want to hear. He stayed a week, spending every day in the hospital with him. His friend looked different -- he was smaller and quieter. House Shoes struggled, not wanting to pry too much about the details of his friend's illness. "I poker-faced it," House Shoes would say a year later. "It was hard as hell." At his hospitalized birthday celebration, Yancey got cake -- chocolate, his favorite -- from one of his record labels, Stones Throw. He also got a baseball jersey decorated with Detroit street signs. Then there was a private gift. House Shoes called about 35 people in Detroit -- some who knew Yancey and others who'd never met him but appreciated his contributions to hip-hop. He had them leave birthday and get-well greetings on his voice mail. "Man, listen to this crazy message this girl left me," House Shoes said, bringing his cell phone closer to Yancey's ear. Then he let them play. All 35 messages. There in his hospital bed, Yancey broke down and cried. Yancey hides his condition Yancey kept quiet about how bad things really were. After that early 2005 stint at the hospital -- the one that prompted hip-hop message boards to report he was in a coma -- he granted an interview to hip-hop magazine XXL for its June edition. In the interview, he denied that he was comatose, and said that he had gotten sick overseas. "As soon as I got back," he told the magazine, "I had the flu or something, and I had to check myself into the hospital. Then they find out I had a ruptured kidney and was malnourished from not eatin' the right kinda food. It was something real simple, but it ended with me being in the hospital." Only his doctor and his mother knew how bad it really was. Detroit rapper Proof, like many of Yancey's friends, never wanted to push it. "We never really got into the sickness thing. I would be like 'How you doing?' He would be like 'Better,' " Proof said. The Bible provides comfort Yancey became more spiritual in the last year of his life. He and his mother studied the story of Job, which tackles the question of why innocent people suffer, and which biblical scholars interpret to be about faith and patience. "For God maketh my heart soft, and the Almighty troubleth me: because I was not cut off before the darkness, neither hath he covered the darkness from my face." His doctor said he had come to terms with illness. "He didn't want to be a professional patient," said Dr. Aron Bick, Yancey's L.A.-based hematologist, who also is an oncologist. "The treatment was difficult because he would not want to go to the hospital. He was very intelligent. He said, 'I hear you, doc. But here are my decisions about my own life.' "I admired that on a human level. He got the medical care he needed. He really did not let his medical situation handicap his life. To him, life came first. He made peace with himself before we even knew it. And then he made peace with his mom." On his 32nd birthday, Yancey spent the day at his L.A. home. Roommate Common bought him a birthday cake, chocolate, of course. DJ Peanut Butter Wolf and Madlib, friends from hip-hop's underground, came over with a cake in the shape of a chocolate doughnut, to honor the "Donuts" album, which was released that day. Their visit was brief, because Yancey felt uncomfortable with people seeing him that way. They left the cake at the door. Yancey had a small piece. It was all his aching stomach could take. It hadn't quite been a month since he'd left the hospital, and he'd just learned how to swallow again. Because his voice wasn't strong, he sometimes refused to open his mouth. He was shuffling around his home with a walker -- he'd gotten rid of the wheelchair weeks before. "At that point I really felt like something was wrong, more so than ever," said Peanut Butter Wolf. "Even a few weeks before that he was in a wheelchair, but he was energetic and showing me music and showing me his equipment and talked about moving all of his equipment that's still in Detroit to L.A." Still, in spite of the pain, he was happy. His one prayer had been answered. This was the first birthday in four years that he hadn't spent in a hospital. 'It's going to be all right' In the last days of his life, as he shuffled up and down the hallway, he had heart-to-heart chats with his mother. They were quick. But they were thoughtful. "You know I love you, right?" he said. "And I appreciate everything you've ever done for me." "You don't have to say that," she said. He and his mother had developed a ritual that preceded medical procedures: They'd slap high-fives, an indication that everything was going to be OK. At home, the day after his birthday, he held his hand up for his mom to meet it in midair. She was puzzled. There was no procedure that day. Why was he doing this? He continued to motion for her to high-five him, refusing to stop until her hand met his. Finally, she relented and gave it to him. "That's what I'm talking about," he said. "We're in this together. It's all good. You're going to be all right. I promise you it's going to be all right." R.I.P. J DILLA
  8. i don't know the situation here, furthermore, i don't really care, but... this isn't the presidency, you can't impeach a moderator. this is a debate website. moderators who are elected have their own discretion of what belongs and what doesn't belong in the forums they moderate. you don't like the way he/she moderates? vote for someone else come next election then. http://www.cross-x.com/vb/faq.php?faq=vb_read_and_post#faq_vb_moderator_explain
  9. it was a joke............................... but, yes, i did vote for john kerry in 2004.
  10. just a few things. according to williams street on adultswim.com... and... oh, and by the way, this is temporarily stickied (oh, i know, "that damn floydian and his damn liberal attitude, he needs to get his head out of kerry's ass/gutter!! :mad:")
  11. i wasn't talking about you. sonic youth is probably the best suggestion in this thread (didn't read everyone of them, though). i was referring to the amount of metal muzak in this thread.
  12. you white kids and your music
  13. i'm the new mod of culture, also, if anyone cares. http://www.cross-x.com/vb/announcement.php?f=44 sorry rayl, i'm not trying to hijack your thread, it's just me being lazy and not wanting to start my own thread about it. edit: what happened between justin and mat is between them, there's no need to get into it again.
  14. Floydian


    just what cross-x needs. another thread about religion. http://www.cross-x.com/vb/showthread.php?t=19021 http://www.cross-x.com/vb/showthread.php?t=940827 search function can be useful.
  • Create New...