There’s a halo of reverence around J Dilla, a producer and beatmaker from Detroit who made some of the most fascinating and influential beats in hip hop history. Before his early death in 2006, J Dilla worked with countless artists and producers – from Erykah Badu and Janet Jackson to Busta Rhymes and Madlib – and developed an off-kilter style of rhythm and sampling that transcended the machine he used to create music, the Akai Midi Production Center, otherwise known as the MPC.

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