Last spring, a Michigan record store owner named Jeff Bubeck hit the jackpot when he stumbled upon thousands of lost items in a storage unit that once belonged to the late J Dilla, including thousands of records. Rather than selling them in his store, as he initially planned, he turned them over to Dilla's mother, Maureen "Ma Dukes" Yancey, and teamed up with her to help authenticate the 7,000-8,000 pieces of vinyl.
Now, the J Dilla Foundation is auctioning off a portion of the collection Bubeck found on eBay. According to the page, you pay a fee and receive a surprise piece hand-selected by Maureen Yancey. "Records are being chosen randomly (Ma's Choice) so please do not send any requests," the page reads.
They add, "None of the records have been cleaned or checked for defects. You will receive it just as it was in Dilla's collection, possible writing on covers, old price tags, fingerprints and all."
Buyers will receive a certificate of authenticity that allows them to register the LPs in an online registry, and proceeds will go to the J Dilla Foundation.
However, the selection is limited: "Test pressings, personal recordings, personal items, tapes, along with a large portion of the record collection are being held by Ma Dukes for inclusion in a possible future Hip Hop museum and upcoming record release projects."
The "possible future Hip Hop museum" may refer to Afrika Bambaataa's proposal to build a hip-hop museum in the now-empty Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx. Development plans are still unresolved, however.
The next auction goes live on February 4.
On February 5, the J Dilla Foundation will release Music From the Lost Scrolls Vol. 1, a 10" featuring unreleased Dilla music compiled by Frank Nitt from Frank N Dank. On February 9, the Foundation will host Dilla Day Detroit at the Fillmore. It will feature performances by Talib Kweli, Royce Da 5'9", Miguel Atwood Ferguson, Frank N Dank, Dilla's brother Illa J, and more.
Watch "The Rebirth of Detroit", a video explaining the goals of the J Dilla Foundation