J Dilla’s MPC Featured in the National Museum of African American History and Culture
J Dilla is one of the most respected producers in hip-hop history. And the late legend's legacy will now reach even more people; his MIDI Production Center will now be featured in the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC; which is set to open on Sept. 24th.
Dilla used his MPC to create classic projects like 2001’s Welcome to Detroit, 2003’s Champion Sound and 2006’s Donuts--which was the last project Dilla put out himself on the day of his 32nd birthday, just three days before his death from cardiac arrest after a lengthy battle with lupus.
However, there have been several Dilla projects released posthumously including The Shining, Jay Stay Paid and Rebirth Of Detroit. Back to the Crib is most recent, a mixtape that surfaced this August via BBE Records. Reportedly, Dilla made the mixtape some time between mid-1999 and early 2000 and features music from Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Roberta Flack, the Doobie Brothers, Chaka Khan, Donald Byrd and Sade.
Peter Adarkwah, the co-founder of BBE Records, shared some background info on how he got his hands on Back to the Crib.
“James (J Dilla) was working with James Poyser on Erykah [Badu]’s Mama’s Gun LP," Adarkwah wrote. "We’d checked out a couple of record stores (I can’t recall where or their names) and this tape was playing in the car. I recall ‘Think Twice’ was on the tape and I suggested there and then that he do a cover with Erykah for the BBE album. We didn’t get the Erykah feature, but people sure remember James’ cover. We drove past a sign, it said ‘Welcome To Detroit,’ and I suggested that would be a good name for the album. When we pulled over James gave me [Back to the Crib] and said ‘This is yours,’ or words to effect.”
Dilla's historical MDP will be in the "Musical Crossroads" exhibit of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
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