Since writing my story yesterday about Royal Oak’s UHF record store finding a part of J.Dilla’s record collection and selling it, I’ve read a plethora of negative comments about what was going down. While everyone has an opinion on it, most seem to think it’s a travesty that someone would be selling Jay Dee’s personal record collection. You know how the internet goes, it’s just like the wash lady on In Living Color: “I ain’t one to gossip, but that bad man from Detroit is selling all of Jay Dee’s personal artifacts and his records”. The original articles stated that he tried to connect with Maureen Yauncey, Dilla’s mother and head of the J Dilla Foundation. Maybe the guy should have waited before he started stickering the vinyl and selling it, it’s a tough call. After all, he is a business man, and he bought what he thought (after seeing the personal articles within the cache of records) to be Dilla’s records.
Today, news came out that Maureen Yauncey did indeed finally get in touch with Jeff Bubeck, co-owner of UHF. They have agreed to have Ma Dukes inspect the records, pulled them from sale to the public, and after said inspection will have a specific sale to benefit the J Dilla Foundation. Unfortunately, the internet can be an unfriendly place, and UHF was bombarded with negative calls, emails, and facebook posts about this whole ordeal. Maureen Yauncey did not agree with the negativity this has drawn, rather going on to say: “I’m not upset. I feel like it was a blessing if they really are Dilla’s,” she said. “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.”** I’d agree with that as well. I heard talk that this stuff should be in a museum, saved, etc., but think about this: How many times have you been digging and found another DJ’s crates? How many storage spaces get auctioned off because people don’t pay for them? Records change hands daily, and even super producer records get sold eventually. I’m not saying that someone shouldn’t try to work with the Dilla estate to come up with a solution, but after a day of madness, it looks to be headed that way finally. I am all for preserving everything Dilla, and if Bubeck wasn’t going to sell the personal items (beat tapes, lyrics, the things that should be in a museum), what’s the problem? Now that Dilla’s mother is involved, and she will be able to verify what’s going on, I think a lot of the people in the record/music community will feel better. I know I do.
This is a debate that will rage on between people close to Dilla, fans, and others just trying to make money off of the Dilla name in a shady way (which I don’t agree with). That being said, we will let you know when that sale to benefit the J Dilla Foundation goes on. Long live Jay Dee.
**Quote taken from the Detroit News
Dilla “Won’t Do”
I’m still upset about it. That record store handled that very poorly. It’s a little too easy to say “it’s all good now” when who knows how much money they made in the mean time… Plus it is impossible to believe they couldn’t get ahold of the estate…. And then decide they’ll just sell them. Jd was so meticulous about the condition of his records… I feel like even the biggest of fans can’t appreciate this enough. In short, who truly deserves his record collection? And should it be broken up? I digress. I bought 6 of them and the vibe I get from them…. I feel like I stole 100k from an old lady and I’m guilt ridden but what can you do???? It’s like putting fans in a weird position. It’s not all love, it feels a little evil. It’s like selling off Elvis guitars. Keep them safe and intact.. Don’t get money involved. Disrespectful.
from what i’ve read ma dukes said dilla had already picked over his records and picked out the ones he really wanted years ago, these are just the left overs. and based on sample sources dilla used, many of the records that he sampled from would have been passed over by most crate diggers. many of those records are whack, it was just dilla had the imagination to see what they could be. i can’t imagine this guy at UHF is gonna be making bank off of dilla’s records, dilla himself already picked over all the good ones – the guy is gonna be lucky to unload the scraps, records that dilla bought on a whim, and no one will ever know what he saw in them. and who is really gonna pay a lot of money for a lousy record just because dilla once owned it. i for one would not. the UHF guy is giving all the tapes and personal items to ma dukes in addition to the special sale. and also to his defense it doesn’t seem like he knew who dilla was before he picked up these records and did some research. i’m not sure he realized how important dilla is to some of us. it would be like me finding a box of used picks from the greatest black metal guitarist of all time and thinking, huh, some body is gonna want these, i should sell em, not knowing to a lot of folks they would be considered a museum item.
you “dilla cult” fans need to get a life. the store owner won these items fair and square and can do whatever he wants with them. be glad that dilla’s mom has this stuff now so maybe we can get more dilla music. this kinda thing happens all the time. GET USED TO IT!
Hello, I work at UHF. I know a lot of time has passed since the J DIlla situation but we’ve still been getting phone calls about it so I wanted to check the internet world to see what was up and this blog popped up. Thank you for not being completely horrible towards us haha. Its funny how news gets twisted and turned. The owner is a good dude and if he was a sketchy record dude (which most record dudes are) he would have sold everything on e-bay and said fuck it. But unfortunately the leftover goods from the unit are in music land limbo at the moment. Ma Dukes wants to auction off a chunk of the records so the fans can have a piece of the collection because even though the owner handed everything over to her, she wants nothing to do with a Michael MacDonald greatest hits LP. But we know there are fans out there that just want something hes touched and the owner and Ma Dukes know that. Also, the records that were sold in the shop(maybe 200 records out of the 8,000 found), about 60% of that went back to Ma. Sorry for the rant. Thanks for your time.