J Dilla Record Collection: Thousands of Late Producer’s LPs Found in Abandoned Storage Unit
The late J Dilla, considered by many to be one of the greatest hip-hop DJs ever, left behind an extensive treasure trove of records. According to The Detroit News (via Pitchfork), the beat maestro’s cache of LPs was found in an abandoned storage unit and are now being sold at a Royal Oak, Mich., store called UHF.
Between 7,000 and 8,000 records are being sold through the Detroit area retailer. Owner Jeff Bubeck could hardly believe that he had stumbled upon such a massive collection.
“It was pretty shocking,” Bubeck tells The Detroit News. “I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?'”
Among piles and piles of Earth, Wind and Fire LPs, the UHF owner found a box of cassettes marked “Jaydee Beats,” junk mail addressed to James Yancey (Dilla’s actual name), and his parents Beverly and Maureen Yancey.
The store released half of the collection last weekend during Record Store Day. Many customers clambered to own a piece of hip-hop history. UHF owners say they’d like to donate a portion of their earnings to the J Dilla Foundation but attempts to reach Maureen Yancey were unsuccessful.
“A lot of people were saying, ‘I just want one record that was his,” UHF co-owner Scott Hagen says. “They just want to own something that once belonged to Dilla.”
J Dilla passed away in 2006 at age 32 due to complications from lupus.