J Dilla Recording Equipment Headed to the Smithsonian

Detroit producer's Moog synthesizer and MPC donated to National Museum of African American History and Culture

J Dilla was only 32 years old when he died in 2006, but in his too-short life, the prolific producer worked with hip-hop icons including Busta Rhymes, Erykah Badu, The Roots, De la Soul, Common, and A Tribe Called Quest, even earning a Grammy nomination for his work with Tribe. And now, another honor for the late Detroit beatmaker: His recording equipment will be featured in the Smithsonian.

At the ninth DC Loves Dilla tribute concert on Thursday night, Dilla's mom, Maureen Yancey, announced onstage that she would donate her son's custom Minamoog Voyager — one of the last synthesizers Bob Moog built for someone before he died in 2005 — and his MPC to the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture.

“I feel it’s necessary to raise the level of art appreciation in the hip-hop sector and honor my son James Dewitt Yancey, one of the most influential individuals in the history of hip-hop,” Dilla's mom said in a Smithsonian press release announcing the donation.

Below, watch Yancey announce the donation at the benefit concert, which raises money to battle lupus, a disease that might have played a part in Dilla's early death.