Three years ago yesterday (February 10), Hip-Hop culture lost one of its most innovative and influential producers in Detroit's James Dewitt Yancey, AKA J Dilla. Blessed with strong musical genes from an opera singer mother and jazz bassist father, Dilla started collecting vinyl at the tender age of 2. The aspiring producer made a strong name for himself in Detroit early 90s Hip-Hop scene. He formed fledgling groups with Phat Kat (1st Down) and the late Proof (5 Elementz) before settling with classmates T3 and Baatin in Slum Village. Dilla also created numerous classic singles for other artists, such as De La Soul ("Stakes Is High"), The Pharcyde ("Drop," "Runnin'"), Q-Tip ("Vivrant Thing," "Breathe and Stop"), Janet Jackson ("Got 'Til It's Gone"), Common ("The Light"), and Erykah Badu ("Didn't Cha Know"). In 2004, Dilla was diagnosed with lupus and TTP, a rare and incurable blood disorder. The disease greatly restricted Dilla's ability to tour and also resulted in a marked weight loss. Dilla immersed himself in his work, and successfully completed his celebrated final project, Donuts in 2006. The album was released on February 7, just 3 days before Dilla's death at the age of 32 from cardiac arrest.
Taken from allhiphop.com