Something That Means Something
September 5, 2013 7:56 PM   Subscribe

When record store owner Jeff Bubeck buys an old record collection out of an abandoned storage unit, he has no idea what he’s stumbled across. Jeff learns the collection once belonged to the late great J. Dilla, one of the greatest hip hop producers of all time. Along with the thousands of LP’s from Dilla’s personal collection, there is something else that is uncovered, something huge...

Jeff also learns that Jay's mom Maureen Yancey is in serious debt, receiving his medical bills but no royalties.

So, Jeff decided to turn the whole contents of the storage unit over to her, and on advice from others she searches the tapes left amidst the other contents of the unit for more than just the comfort of her son's voice. What she finds is what others had suspected, that Dilla had left (or hidden) a hundred or more tracks within them. These are the "Lost Scrolls". Vol. 1 has been released this year, but there's apparently years and years of material left.

Mom has also set up the J Dilla Foundation, to provide inner-city music programs and scholarships for young musicians attending schools with progressive musical cirricula.
posted by rollbiz (14 comments total) 67 users marked this as a favorite
I hate it that I am surprised when someone isn't a dick. When did being a selfish prick become the status quo? Good on Jeff Bubeck for being a decent guy, I wish we would see more positive fpps like this.
posted by Literaryhero at 8:27 PM on September 5, 2013 [12 favorites]

I was all set to get indignant and furious that somebody had just let J. Dilla's whole record collection get blindly auctioned off, and then I felt bad about myself as the story unfolded, but ... this turned out to be such a sweet story. Thanks, rollbiz.
posted by penduluum at 8:39 PM on September 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

This was wonderful, thanks
posted by thelonius at 8:40 PM on September 5, 2013

What a very decent guy.
posted by tavella at 9:10 PM on September 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

Fuck this rap shit, I listen to classical.

All I have to say is "Fall in Love" by Slum Village. There are some songs that slip through the cracks as you get older, and then you come across them again years later and they just hit you like a sledgehammer.
posted by phaedon at 9:37 PM on September 5, 2013 [4 favorites]

Beautiful. Beautiful.
posted by Mike Mongo at 9:43 PM on September 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

New Dilla sounds, and people behaving kindly too? I love this post. Thanks for sharing it.
posted by .kobayashi. at 5:50 AM on September 6, 2013

Jeff also learns that Jay's mom Maureen Yancey is in serious debt, receiving his medical bills but no royalties.

She's not legally responsible for the deceased's medical bills.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:20 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

Ironmouth, RTFA:
"Meanwhile the 60-year-old woman everybody calls Ma Dukes faces health problems of her own, and financial challenges as well. Although numerous memorials and "benefits" were held in his name, the proceeds didn't change his family's life. Dilla left two daughters - Ja'Mya, 7, and Paige, 9 - to provide for, a sizeable IRS bill, and unresolved legal issues surrounding the use of his beats. Ma Dukes says she has never received money from her son's estate and that her plans to establish a foundation in his name were quashed by the executor of his estate. Somehow, she was not reduced to tears even after Dilla's attorney informed her that she had no legal right to use her own son's name or likeness for commercial purposes. Not even to support his family. "
posted by mfu at 7:30 AM on September 6, 2013

Love Dilla and this is a fascinating story.
posted by bongo_x at 9:27 AM on September 6, 2013

I never really paid much attention to producers, so It wasn't until after he died that I discovered that 90% of my favorite songs from that era were J Dilla tracks. Looking forward to more of his music being out there in the world.
posted by billyfleetwood at 10:35 AM on September 6, 2013

phaedon- I've spent my morning listening to old Slum Village albums. One of my favorite acts ever, and Dilla's beats were so integral to their work.
posted by rollbiz at 11:13 AM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

Dude produced at least half of Labcabincalifornia when he was 19. I was fucking 17 when that album came out and it had never occurred to me that such a thing was possible. Didn't even connect the dots on that till much much later.

posted by lkc at 3:30 PM on September 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

Fat Beats released 20+ minutes of "lost tapes, reels + more" earlier this year on vinyl, and it has already sold out. The beats and bits highlight "his connections to house music also run deep, and he worked with Moodymann, Andres, Amp Fiddler and more in his time." I'm not sure where they got the beats, but there are a ton of beat tapes floating around, and probably more that are kept among Dilla's close friends and family. It should be pretty easy to glean the most electronic, housey stuff from those.

I've been reading up on Dilla, and listening to all sorts of material. Donuts is mad brilliant. He could focus the work on his beats as things to focus on, instead of being backing tracks for rappers. And it's pretty poignant if you listen to it as a farewell message, as some of his friends viewed it.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:59 AM on September 16, 2013

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