-mother of j. dilla
As co-founder and chair of The J. Dilla Foundation, Maureen “Ma Dukes” Yancey’s mission is to honor her late son, J. Dilla by providing scholarships to inner-city kids who attend schools with strong music programs and funding inner-city music programs. She established the foundation shortly after her son died from lupus and TTP, a rare blood disorder in 2006, and has fought to keep the foundation flourishing by challenging early issues of legality. Though the Dilla Foundation had to be put on hold for a number of years, Ma Dukes saw to its re-establishment in 2009.
Because her son had a passion for providing opportunities to young people with musical capabilities and limited resources, her future ambitions for the J. Dilla Foundation include extending its support from the national homefront to the international community. She is determined to ensure that Jay Dee’s legacy continues to live by advocating for R&B, hip-hop and soul music to be recognized as legitimate courses of study in higher learning institutions, and being an advocate for hip-hop programs for youth around the world.
Maureen Yancey was very involved with her son’s life as a mother and professional partner on his management team. With her son, she has worked alongside artists such as Common, Erykah Badu, and Busta Rhymes, and has affectionately become known as Ma Dukes to the hip-hop community.
Mrs. Yancey resides in Detroit with her family. Although she herself is battling lupus, she continues to travel to numerous venues across the country to further the work in honoring all that her son stood for.