Among hip hop’s inner circle, J Dilla (Jay Dee, James Yancey) was a legend in his time. The gifted composer and occasional M.C. created beats and sounds that defined the Hip Hop sound of the late 90s.

Following his untimely death in 2006 from complications associated with Lupus and TTP (a rare blood disease), J Dilla’s legend keeps growing. Countless artists continue to find inspiration in J Dilla’s work:

Hip Hop luminaries like Common, Busta Rhymes, De La Soul, Erykah Badu, The Roots and Q-Tip have all paid tribute to Dilla in their songs and records.

Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Ghostface Killah, Drake, and others have snatched up J Dilla’s unfinished beats and musical ideas for use in their own work

The J Dilla produced song “Runnin” by The Pharcyde is frequently sampled by other artists and used in both TV and film productions

Actor Dave Chapelle even dedicated an entire film to J Dilla’s memory.

In addition to tributes, J Dilla’s long-term relationship with BBE, Stones Throw and Delicious Vinyl produced several posthumous releases. Karriem Riggins completed Dilla’s The Shining (it was 75% complete at the time of Dilla’s death), and BBE released the album August 2006. Stones Throw reissued Ruff Draft in March 2007 and Champion Sound in June 2007.

In 2007, Delicious Vinyl released a compilation of J Dilla’s early works, entitled Jay Deelicious: The Delicious Vinyl Years. The label donated all proceeds from the album’s sale in 2007 to the surviving members of J Dilla’s family, who continue to struggle with the medical bills associated with his illness. In 2008, Delicious Vinyl released a collaboration between the late J Dilla and his younger brother, John: the Yancey Boys album features fourteen tracks that were completed by J Dilla before his death, while John (under the name Illa J) provided all the lyrics and vocals. Stones Throw released a digital instrumental version of the album in 2009.