Detroit area record store UHF has come into possession of 7,000 - 8,000 records from the collection of the late, great J Dilla. The records are currently on sale at the store. The first batch was made available to the public this past weekend on Record Store Day. Jeff Bubeck, the owner of UHF in Royal Oak, MI, acquired the collection from an abandoned storage unit in Clinton Township last month.
"It was pretty shocking," Bubeck told the Detroit News when he initially deduced the identity of the collection's previous owner. "I was like, 'Are you kidding me?'"
Upon first sorting through the collection, Bubeck found numerous 94-cent Earth, Wind & Fire LPs, as well as a box of cassette tapes labeled, "Jaydee Beats." In addition there were lyric booklets, along with magazines and pieces of junk mail addressed to James Yancey, and his parents, Beverly and Maureen Yancey.
The records from the collection for sale are distinguished at UHF with yellow price stickers indicating that they are from Dilla's collection. And though Bubeck said he plans to share proceeds of the records' sales with the J Dilla Foundation, his attempt to contact both the Foundation and Dilla's mother, Maureen "Ma Dukes" Yancey, have been unsuccessful.
Reaction from Dilla's friends and colleagues via Twitter was a mix of disappointment and resignation.
Producer/DJ House Shoes tweeted: "No one is supposed to be able to buy his records. But a lot of shit has gone down in regard to Jay that shouldn't have, Chalk it up I guess."
Journalist dream hampton: "Dilla was one of our greatest collectors & curator of beats, I don't understand how this ended up a Storage Wars story. Super sad face."
Producer/DJ Waajeed - who has steadfastly documented Dilla's legacy via his site, bling47.com - speculated that about a third of the records were probably already badly damaged from the elements. The discovered tapes, however, are another story. "Those tapes tho... I know it's shit on those. Woooooo!" he tweeted.
And a final sobering thought via House Shoes: "The dead sea scrolls are in a fucking record shop right now."
[Via Pitchfork ]