James Dewitt Yancey, better known as J Dilla or Jay Dee, was an American hip hop DJ and producer. He emerged from the underground hip-hop scene in Detroit during the mid-1990s. Throughout his career, he collaborated with artists such as Common, A Tribe Called Quest, and Madlib. He was a member of the group Slum Village and the production team trio The Ummah. J Dilla's work had a major influence on his peers and played a defining role in the rise of neo-soul music. Despite battling health issues, he continued to create music until his untimely death at the age of 32.
J Dilla started his career under the name Jay Dee but later adopted the name J Dilla. In 2002, he formed the group Jaylib with Madlib and released their album "Champion Sound" in 2003. After relocating to Los Angeles due to health reasons, they toured together as Jaylib in 2004.
J Dilla suffered from TTP, a rare blood disease, and Lupus which affected his immune system. Despite his declining health, he remained highly regarded within his core audience. His last album released during his lifetime was "Donuts" on February 7th, 2006 - coinciding with his 32nd birthday - before passing away three days later from cardiac arrest.