J DILLA'S DAUGHTERS REFLECT ON HIS LEGACY IN FIRST INTERVIEW TOGETHER
J Dilla has left behind a legacy that changed Hip Hop forever, but he is also survived by a family who continue bringing attention to his contributions.
The producer's two daughters, Ty-Monae Paige Whitlow and Ja'Mya Yancey, have been featured in a new entry in the Detroit Pistons' Detroit Creative videos series that "go behind the scenes" with local artists.
For Whitlow and Yancey, who were born about a year and a half apart to different mothers, appearing toether in a video was notable given the long-running legal complications over Dilla's estate (some of which were enumerated in this 2009 VIBE article).
In the interview, Whitlow spoke about what drives artists from Detroit, saying: "Anybody from Detroit, we're natural-born hustlers. We need to get it, we always on go. As creatives and as individuals, that's the thing that sets us apart from everybody else."
Additionally, Yancey talked about how her father inspired her. "Seeing his overall work ethic, he put his all into everything," she said. "That inspired me to put my all into it, because I never know if this will be the last thing that I do."
Yancey said that she was partnering with her former elementary school to pay tribute to J Dilla with an "art exhibit," whereas her half-sister talked about carrying on her father's legacy with: "We're both people who make an impact in our own ways."
Watch the segment below:
Dan Charnas, author of the 2022 book Dilla Time: The Life and Afterlife of J Dilla, the Hip-Hop Producer Who Reinvented Rhythm, took note of the occasion.
"If you've read Dilla Time, you probably understand how momentous this interview is," he wrote in an Instagram post. "It's his daughters' first, together.I think many people forgot he had daughters and maybe some never knew.
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"But when you talk about legacy, this is it. And you get to meet them as poised young adults. Paige is a mother, and Ja'Mya now a registered nurse and graduate of Emory."
J Dilla is set to receive another major tribute later this year. On March 30, Robert Glasper, Derrick Hodge and the Black Radio Orchestra will celebrate both Dilla and jazz legend Duke Ellington with a one-off show at Concert Hall at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
Simone Ecclestone, the organization's director of Hip Hop culture and contemporary music, said: "We are so excited to launch our Hip Hop & Festival celebrating the deeply interconnected and symbiotic relationship between Hip Hop and Jazz. As two of America's greatest art forms and vital genres within the Black Music Continuum, they have transformed global culture."