It was during a sit down with Hot 97’s Peter Rosenberg that Maureen ‘Ma Dukes’ Yancey announced the pending arrival of The Life Story of James Dewitt Yancey, a children’s biography based on the life of her son, the late J Dilla.

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Honoring the legacy of one of hip-hop’s greatest producers, The Life Story of James Dewitt Yancey serves as a depiction of Dilla’s transition into one of music’s most influential figures.

“It’s been an amazing quest for the Foundation as we gear up to support the education of youth by inspiring them to pick up an instrument and enhance their creativity and learn to appreciate the arts”, explained Ma Dukes. “This book can be enjoyed by the very young, as an audio is also available. It’s an example of striving to be all you can be and working hard to achieve ones goals in life.”

A very vocal and tireless champion for the preservation of her son’s memory, Ma Dukes makes this announcement only days after the revealing of J Dilla’s personal music production controller at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.


Co-authored by CQ Wilder and Diana Boardley-Wise, the book features illustration by Tokio Aoyama and an audio accompaniment narrated by Ma Dukes herself.

Available in limited qualities the book will be available on November 22, 2016, and is currently available to pre-order at the official J Dilla merchandise store.