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J dilla's mom

Recently, his mother Maureen “Ma Dukes” Yancey was contacted by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (which will open in 2015) to donate his legacy to the museum. Among the artifacts will be her late son’s Akai MIDI Production Center 3000 Limited Edition (MPC) and his custom-made Minamoog Voyager synthesizer. The decision followed several conversations she had with Smithsonian’s popular-music historian, Timothy Burnside, who said:

J Dilla’s body of work is a testament to creativity and innovation, the very elements on which hip-hop was founded. He was fearlessly dedicated to music, following in the footsteps of many musical greats. As a child, he first danced to James Brown, and like Duke Ellington, he was uncannily versatile. It is in the company of the greats that he belongs. Ma Dukes has demonstrated incredible generosity by donating these items to the museum. Through this donation, she has trusted us not just to preserve her son’s legacy, but to share it with the world.

Read the interview HERE.


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