In the nine years since game-changing rapper-producer J Dilla died at age 32 from a rare blood disease, his hometown of Detroit has annually marked his birthday (today, Feb. 7) with a daylong show, party, and celebration of his considerable influence.
[jump] A few years ago, the rest of the country started catching up with Detroit. Today marks the third annual Dilla Day celebration here in San Francisco, with a free event tonight called “This One is For Dilla” at Mighty, featuring Beat Junkie Sound DJs Rhettmatic and Shortkut, Mr. E (of Paplote HiFi), and DJ/designer Haylow, hosted by Fran Boogie. Proceeds, as always, go to the Dilla Foundation, which the rapper's mother established to fund music education in inner-city schools.
The event's free with RSVP before midnight, with an open bar from 9 to 10 p.m. But no need to wait until then to get in the mood — here's what we're listening to today. Happy birthday to one of the greats.