After a report from the Detroit News that J Dilla’s vinyl collection was being sold off by a Michigan record store circulated online yesterday, sale of the records is now on hold, at least temporarily, while the proprietor–Jeff Bubeck of UHF records in Royal Oak, MI–coordinates with the J Dilla Foundation and Dilla’s mom Maureen “Ma Dukes” Yancey. Yesterday evening the DN posted a follow-up story, reporting that Bubeck was now in touch with Yancey who offered to help authenticate the records and ensure that some proceeds from the sale went to the Foundation (before yesterday, Bubeck reported that his attempts to contact Ma Dukes and the Foundation had been unsuccessful).
In addition to Yancey’s input, a groundswell of negative reaction to yesterday’s news–in particular, phonecalls and comments on UHFs facebook page–prompted the decision to pull those records already offered for sale from the store’s shelves. It’s unclear how many of the pieces, first made available for purchase last week for Record Store Day, have already been sold.
Ma Dukes, however, wanted to let people know that she was “not on the same page” with those who complained to the store about the sales, saying:
I’m not upset. I feel like it was a blessing if they really are Dilla’s. I’m not angry about it at all. I’m grateful. (Bubeck) has done nothing wrong, he just acquired something that seemed to be useful to a lot of people.
Yancey confirmed that Dilla did have a storage unit in Clinton township–the source cited by Bubeck for the collection in his possession–but added (confirming Questlove‘s assessment on twitter yesterday) that the most valuable records had been shipped to L.A. in 2004–two years before Dilla’s passing.
“He knew every record, where it was at, what record it was next to, what record was two records from it, which hand, right hand or left hand of each shelf,” Yancey said Thursday. “He knew it like he knew his hand…We shipped out everything he had asked for,” she says, adding bills ran up to the thousands of dollars. “But we did what we were told.”
Bubeck has also clarified on another contentious point, stating that other items of Dilla’s property which were also found in the storage unit–including personal correspondence, beat tapes and lyric books–were “never and will never be offered for sale.”
Bubeck and Yancey are currently going through the cache to determine whether they were indeed Dilla’s and, if so, to create a certificate of authenticity for them. At which point, Bubeck says:
They eventually will be offered again for sale to benefit the Foundation, based on (Yancey’s) wishes.