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Illa J 117

@ILLAJ

About Illa J

According to is Soundcloud page, this is Illa J’s biography:


John Derek Yancey (b. October 13, 1986; Detroit, Michigan), better known as “Illa J”, is an American rapper, singer and songwriter.

Albeit he’s primarily a solo artist, he’s currently an active member of Detroit-based groups Slum Village and Yancey Boys; he has another alias, “John Regal”. He taught himself how to play the piano, had bass lessons and continuously has vocal training.

Illa J wrote and recorded his first rap at the age of 13 with his big brother J Dilla at Studio A in Detroit, Michigan. Later on, in his teenage years, he wanted to undertake a basketball career but music had always been part of his life. He joined the church choir at the age of 6 and he grew up seeing his entire family involved in music. His mother, Maureen Yancey, studied opera singing and was in the church choir, and his father, Beverly Dewitt Yancey (1932-2012), was offered a deal by Motown Music that he turned down but kept on doing music independently, Mr. and Ms. Yancey also had their own acapella group. His big brother James Dewitt Yancey better known as “J Dilla” was a record producer who was a great influence to the Hip-Hop scene by working with groups such as A Tribe Called Quest, The Pharcyde, De La Soul, and artists such as Busta Rhymes, Common, Erykah Badu and MF DOOM.