2016 marks some major milestones in Hip-Hop history concerning the late legendary producer and rapper J Dilla. Not only does this year mark the 10 year anniversary of the critically acclaimed album Donuts, but also 10 years since Dilla’s untimely passing. This year also marks the introduction of some of the musical equipment of the Detroit native into one of the greatest museums in American history.
After Dilla’s passing, his mother Maureen “Ma Dukes” Yancey took control of her son’s estate to ensure that Dilla’s legacy would be protected. Part of that preservation led to Yancy agreeing to donate Dilla’s custom-made Mini Moog Voyager synthesizer and Akai MIDI Production Center 3000 Limited Edition to the Smithsonian as part of the collection at the National Museum of African American History & Culture, set to open this year.
The donated MPC and synthesizer were Dilla’s bread and butter, used to create hits for the likes of The Roots, The Pharcyde, De La Soul, Common, Erykah Badu, and A Tribe Called Quest as well as his last album Donuts. The equipment will be a part of the “Musical Crossroads” exhibit, featuring artists like Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Chuck Berry, George Clinton and Chuck D. J Dilla‘s legacy means a lot to hip-hop and it is wonderful to see that it will be honored the way it should and be preserved for future generations.