J Dilla's Synthesizers, Equipment Donated to Smithsonian Museum

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Late hip hop legend James “J Dilla” Yancey’s equipment will find a new home in The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. His mother, Maureen Yancey, has made the donation for the museum’s Musical Crossroads exhibit, which will feature J Dilla alongside seminal artists such as George Clinton and Ella Fitzgerald, according to a Smithsonian press release.

“I feel it’s necessary to raise the level of art appreciation in the hip-hop sector and honor my son James Dewitt Yancey, one of the most influential individuals in the history of hip-hop,” Yancey said on her decision.

The donation was announced at the Howard Theatre in Washington at the annual D.C. Loves Dilla event, a fundraiser against Lupus, the disease that took the musician’s life in 2006.

J Dilla produced during the ‘90s and 2000s, and the producer released his final album, the acclaimed Donuts, in 2006. The album was released three days before his death. J Dilla received the 2007 Plug awards for Artist of the Year and Record Producer of the Year as well a 1996 Grammy nomination for producing A Tribe Called Quest’s Beats, Rhymes and Life

The museum, which will feature J Dilla’s custom made Minimoog Voyager synthesizer and Akai MIDI Production Center 3000, is set to open in 2016 on the National Mall.

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