J Dilla’s huge legacy returned to his mother

Mrs. Maureen "Ma Dukes" Yancey will decide what to do with the thousands of records belonging to her legendary son that were found in abandoned storage unit.


Words by: Charlie Jones

Bad news for those interested in buying material from J Dilla unearthed collection, but good news for those who like to see mums happy. Hundreds of tapes by the Detroit hip-hop producer who died in 2006 have been returned to his mother by Jeff Bubeck (the owner of a Royal Oak record store), according to The Detroit News.

As we previously reported, Bubeck found the tapes last month in an abandoned Clinton Township storage unit. He also found thousands of vinyl records that were believed to be property of Dilla, in addition to notebooks and some letters. He then started selling the albums last week, with tags identifying the records as part of the hip-hop producer’s personal collection.

Dilla’s mother contacted the store last Thursday and met with Bubeck later that day. Maureen “Ma Dukes” Yancey said UHF had done nothing wrong and stated: “I’m not angry about it at all. I’m grateful.” She also added that Bubeck has acquired something that seemed to be useful to a lot of people, and called him a “hero”. Maureen said it was “overwhelming” to see her son’s handwriting again.

As far as J Dilla’s legacy is concerned, UHF published the following message on their Facebook page:

“We have been in contact with the J Dilla Foundation. We are doing exactly as Mrs. Yancey wishes. The foundation needs help and we are helping. The complete story will be out soon. In the meantime the few records that were in the store have been removed due to the overwhelming amount of calls. They are back where we found them and Mrs. Yancey put them years ago. They eventually will be offered again for sale to benefit the Foundation, again based on her wishes. The personal property was never and will never be offered for sale. Mrs. Yancey will decide what to do with that.”

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