The James D. Yancey Collection

Collection: The James D. Yancey Collection

James Yancey grew up in Detroit, Michigan. The family lived in a house on the northeast corner of McDougall and Nevada, on the east side of Detroit. Yancey's parents had musical backgrounds; his mother, Maureen "Ma Dukes" Yancey, is a former opera singer and his father, Beverly Dewitt Yancey, was a jazz bassist, and performed Globetrotters half-time shows for several years. Yancey's mother said that he could "match pitch perfect harmony" before he learnt to speak.

Along with a range of other musical genres, Yancey developed a passion for hip hop music. After transferring from Davis Aerospace Technical High School to Pershing High School, he befriended his classmates T3 and Baatin through their mutual interest in rap battles; the three later formed the rap group Slum Village. Yancey also took up beat-making using a simple tape deck as the center of his studio. n his teenage years, he "stayed in the basement alone" to train himself to produce beats with his growing record collection.

 

ALL PROCEEDS ARE DONATED TO THE JAMES D. YANCEY FOUNTATION

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