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The life of James Yancey a.k.a. J Dilla continues to heavily influence and enlighten the Hip-Hop community even in his death. On February 10, 2006, three days after his 32nd birthday and release of his acclaimed Donuts album, the producer known also know as Jay Dee to some, passed away after suffering from a rare blood disorder.

He was best known for his cerebral vision within his group Slum Village as well as undeniable collaborations with Common, Busta Rhymes and A Tribe Called Quest, just to name a few classic pairings.

Although his passing unfolded a dramatic battle for his royalties and estate, as well as leaving many of his fellow Hip-Hop comrades reeling with grief, his legacy underwent a second coming as legions of new fans began to discover the uniqueness of his production abilities.

For those that already knew of his talent, today signifies a bittersweet occasion as February 7, 2014 would have marked his 40th birthday.

Given the almighty power of social media, tributes from friends and fans alike were able to heard loud and clear. Hit the gallery to see the great things artists such as Raekwon, Common, DJ House Shoes and more had to say about the Dilla’s big 4-0.

Rest in power, Mr. Yancey. And Happy Birthday.

Photo: Twitter, Instagram

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