In 2006, James "J Dilla" Dewitt Yancey, just 32 years old, passed away from a rare blood disease called thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. But before he succumbed, Dilla was known as one of the most important producers in hip-hop. A rapper himself (he was a founding member of Slum Village), Dilla also worked with acts like A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Busta Rhymes, Erykah Badu, MF Doom, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, the Roots, Slum Village, the Pharcyde, Madlib, Common, and more. The Detroit native's influence can still be felt in many different corners of hip-hop.
After his death, Dilla's mother, Maureen "Ma Dukes" Yancey, began her quest to keep her son's legacy alive. That quest eventually led to last year's inaugural J Dilla Weekend, a three-day hip-hop festival featuring some of Dilla's closest friends and admirers.
This year, J Dilla Weekend is back in Miami for the second time at the Wynwood warehouse Soho Studios. Spanning three days — today through February 7 — Dilla Weekend will feature performances by Roots MC Black Thought, Jay Electronica, DJ Premier, Slum Village, Royce da 5'9'', 9th Wonder, Rapsody, Bun B, Kev Brown, DJ Craze, Diamond D, A.G., Chuck Strangers, A-F-R-O, Mr. Green, and more.
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A single-day ticket to the event will run you $45 while a general admission weekend pass is $75 via ticketfly.com. Proceeds from Dilla Weekend will help benefit the J Dilla Foundation, an organization Dilla's mother helped found that funds urban music programs in
The musical performances will run from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Friday, and noon to 2 a.m. on Saturday. Friday's lineup will consist of Kev Brown, 9th Wonder & Rhapsody, Bun B, Royce da 5'9'', Slum Village, and special guest Pete Rock. On Saturday, Jay Electronica, DJ Premier, Black Thought, A-F-R-O, and AG & Diamond D hit the stage. Great music, great vibes, a great cause, and it's all in the memory of a great guy. If you're gonna do one thing this weekend, make it this.
J Dilla Weekend with Bun B, Black Thought, Slum Village, Jay Electronica, and others. 7 p.m. Friday, February 5, through Sunday, February 7, at Soho Studios, 2136 NW First Ave., Miami; 305-600-4785; sohostudiosmiami.com. Tickets cost $75 to $105 via ticketfly.com.