James Dewitt Yancey
(February 7, 1974 – February 10, 2006), better known by the stage names J Dilla
and Jay Dee
, was an American record producer
who emerged from the mid-1990s underground hip hop scene in Detroit, Michigan
. According to his obituary at NPR.org, he "was one of the music industry's most influential hip-hop artists, working for big-name acts like De La Soul, Busta Rhymes and Common."