The Detroit News is reporting an amazing find by Jeff Bubeck, owner of Detroit record store UHF. In an abandoned storage unit where 7000 to 8000 records that after closer examination he believes is part of Dilla’s own collection:
When first digging through the crates, amid the mountains of 94-cent Earth, Wind & Fire LPs, Bubeck noticed a box of cassette tapes, labeled in black marker as “Jaydee Beats.” There were also lyric booklets, along with magazines and pieces of junk mail addressed to James Yancey, as well as to his parents, Beverly and Maureen Yancey.
The news article mostly focuses on the record colelction, of which many items are bargain bin finds, but it contains some valuable collectibles as well.
Dilla was a notorious crate digger, scooping up albums by the caseload to scour for obscure beats and samples. So while many of the records in the collection are dollar-bin throwaways, there are some, including titles from 1970s Detroit jazz label Tribe Records, that have significant value, Bubeck says.
While it does seem very cool to be able to buy a record from Dilla’s collection, those cassette tapes might prove to be the true treasure trove here. From what era are they, and how much unreleased material could they hold? What light can they shed on Dilla’s development as an artist?
Bubeck has contacted Stones Throw Records and Maureen ‘Ma Dukes’ Yancey (Dilla’s mom) and wants to share part of the profits with the J Dilla foundation,
but has so far been unsuccesfull in contacting the latter. Part of the record collection is on sale at UHF since Record Store Day last weekend, so if you’re in the Detroit vicinity and want to possibly own a small part of music history you can drop by for a visit there.
Spotted @ Daily Swarm.
UPDATE: Record store owner Jeff Bubeck has now been successful in contacting Ma Dukes, the sale is currently on hold and they’re figuring out how to proceed next. As for people thinking the store’s actions ware somehow disrespectful or even harmful to Dilla’s legacy, Ma Dukes clearly disagrees:
I’m not upset. I feel like it was a blessing if they really are Dilla’s. I’m not angry about it at all. I’m grateful. (Bubeck) has done nothing wrong, he just acquired something that seemed to be useful to a lot of people.
More on this at Okayplayer.