Keeping Dilla alive

J Dilla, J Dilla FoundationJDillafoundation

It’s no secret that J Dilla shaped Hip Hop in the mid 90’s and made it what it is today. Working with artists such as Tribe Called Quest, Common, Pharcyde and De La soul, his name and music continues to touch hearts of Hip Hop lovers. We chat to president of the JDillafoundation, Joylette about winning hip hop foundation of the year award, the programs available and how you can keep Dilla alive. Margaret Tra writes.

How is the J Dilla Foundation going?

We are just fine thanks Maggie! We are still trying to get our new web-site going!

Do you receive on-going support from artists that he used to work with?

I would not say on- going, but I can say we have receive help from some artists that have work with him and looking forward to others to come forward that have work with him, to help in any way that they can.

Every time an artist tours down under (Hip Hop or R n B) they pay tribute to Dilla, how does it make you feel?

It makes me feel excited and honoured to hear Dilla name still in the mix of other hip hop artist, I pray it don't stop cause it won’t with me.

A gig in Australia was done recently for the foundation; do gigs here help the foundation there?

Yes, the fund that is donated from the gigs help with funding programs and helps with the run of the foundation. As of now, that’s how the foundation makes it, off donations.

Dilla has touched musical hearts all over Australia, what can we do to help?

Well you all can continue to keep his name circulating in the Hip Hop community there in Australia, and donate to the foundation whenever you all can, that's how you can help.

You have various programs in your foundation what do they entail and how are they going? 

Yes, we have three programs and one scholarship. Pay It forward  is a one-time grant of $500 US to help fund and support local music programs. Be Instrumental is a program design to help provide instruments for schools’ or local music programs because the Jdillafoundation feels that where there is a child with a desire to create music, the means and opportunity is available. The Dilla Factor is a partnership between The Jdillafoundation and inner- city school and community music programs. The James D. Yancey Award For Progressive Urban Music is a scholarship that has been design to help support music programs at institutions by offering talented students monetary assistance for full participation in a hip hop curriculum.

What do people have to do to be eligible?

Everyone is eligible, you just have to reach out to us and let us know your needs and we will do our best to meet them.

Can you share any success stories from the foundation?

Yes, last year The Jdillafoundation won hip hop foundation of the year award, so we were very honoured for that. Very, very excited Ma"Dukes" and I could not stop smiling.

Are there any plans for the future for the foundation? 

Our plan for the future right now is to make sure we get proper fund from the government to help fund our programs. So we want have to solely depend on donation, because after we do our program in June we won’t have much left. 

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