MTV and the Save the Music nonprofit organization have launched a grant named after the J Dilla, the highly influential rapper-producer who died in 2006.
MTV and Save the Music said the J Dilla Music Tech Grant will focus on electronic music production and will assist students who produce and create through various computer programs, mirroring the current state of the music industry.
Detroit-born Dilla was a revered producer who worked with acts like A Tribe Called Quest, Common, Erykah Badu, De La Soul, Busta Rhymes and more.
“Dilla is the only hip-hop producer that literally changed the way musicians play music. You can always hear musicians trying to emulate him,” said Robert Glasper, the Grammy-winning musician and Save the Music ambassador, in a statement to The Associated Press. “Dilla was definitely a unique and influential voice in music and I’m glad and blessed to have known and rocked with him!”
The new grant was developed in partnership with Pharrell Williams’ i am OTHER company and Arizona State University. The multi-year initiative will benefit seven high schools in Philadelphia; Brooklyn, Los Angeles, New Orleans; Miami; and Newark, New Jersey.
“I’m so honored to have the J Dilla Music Tech Grant named after my son. This will continue his legacy and inspire the next generation of young creatives,” Dilla’s mom, Maureen “Ma Dukes” Yancey, said in a statement.
Save the Music launched in 1997 and has launched more than 2,000 music programs at schools.