J Dilla Honored by Detroit Pistons With Royce Da 5’9″-Curated Merch Collection

Wednesday (Feb. 7) marks what would have been J Dilla’s 50th birthday, and J’s hometown NBA team, the Detroit Pistons, is honoring the late producer with a capsule collection curated by fellow Motor City native Royce Da 5’9″.

A closer look at the collection inspired by J Dilla will be unveiled leading up to the March 13 release date for the capsule, which doubles as 313 Day in Detroit.

“It is a great honor to be responsible for curating his likeness in this exclusive merchandise drop entrusted to me by his estate and the @detroitpistons,” Royce said in a press statement. “This campaign holds major significance not just for myself, but also for the city of Detroit and the hip-hop community as a whole.”

With 2023 serving as the 50th anniversary of hip-hop and February being Black History Month, the Detroit Pistons wanted to properly honor J Dilla’s legacy.

“Those familiar with Dilla’s musical genius understand his impact on hip-hop but there are still so many who aren’t familiar with his legacy,” said Bilal Saeed, VP of Brand & Marketing Strategy. “The Pistons wanted to tell his story in a creative way while also continuing to shed light on the city’s impact on music around the world.”

The impactful Detroit-bred producer died in 2006 from a combination of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura and lupus. Saturday (Feb. 10) will mark the 18th anniversary of J Dilla’s death.

Each piece is set to pay homage to Dilla and his “work and non-traditional style.” Dillla’s daughter, Ja’Mya said the collaboration honoring her father was “a long time coming.”

“It has honestly been a long time coming,” Ja’Mya Yancey said. “I am just so glad that we were finally able to do something so major through the appropriate channels and highlight my dad in a way that was fun and exciting while respecting his estate at the same time.”

His other daughter Ty’Monae added: “It means a lot to see the estate and the Pistons collaboration in celebrating and continuing my father’s legacy. Seeing the love Detroit has for him and for us as a family is heartwarming.  I can’t wait to be a part of and to see what the collaboration entails.”

The J Dilla collection will be available on the team shop’s website starting March 13 when the Detroit Pistons will host the Toronto Raptors at Little Caesars Arena.

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