James Dewitt Yancey (February 7, 1974–February 10, 2006), better known as J Dilla or Jay Dee, was an American hip hop producer
and MC, who emerged from the mid-1990s
underground hip-hop scene in Detroit, Michigan. He began his career as "Jay Dee" but used
the name "J Dilla" from 2001 on.
J Dilla died on February 10, 2006 at his home
in Los Angeles, California, three days after his thirty-second
birthday and the release of Donuts. His obituary in The New York Times of February 14, 2006, states: "The cause was cardiac arrest, according to his mother, Maureen Yancey. She said
he had been
suffering from lupus and had recently been
hospitalized for pneumonia."