Because of “society” and “rules,” you pretty much have to have your torso covered in most social settings. And J. Dilla was one of the most important musicians of the past quarter century. These are facts, and a few smart people have combined them to produce J. Dilla-themed shirts that have quietly become some of the most iconic designs of the past decade.
Local streetwear company No Love City is about to jump into the Dilla shirt game with one sporting a cartoony portrait of Jay Dee by Kid Ninja that the man himself would probably have gotten a kick out of. And unlike a lot of similar shirts out there, this one’s got the blessing of Maureen “Ma Dukes” Yancey, Dilla’s mother and vigorous defender of his legacy. And No Love City has promised that all of the profits from the shirts will go straight to the nonprofit J. Dilla Foundation, which supports music education in underfunded schools. They’re funding the project on Kickstarter, where a reasonable $25 donation will reserve you a shirt.
In other Dilla news, The Diary, a posthumous collection of material featuring his lesser known but still considerable talents as a rapper, is set to be released sometime soon. The actual date hasn’t been announced, but you can check out a sample here.