Detroit-born Dilla was a revered producer who worked with acts like A Tribe Called Quest, Common, Erykah Badu, De La Soul, Busta Rhymes and more. "Dilla is the only hip-hop producer that literally changed the way musicians play music. You can always hear musicians trying to emulate him," said Robert Glasper, the Grammy-winning musician and Save the Music ambassador, in a statement to The Associated Press. "Dilla was definitely a unique and influential voice in music and I'm glad and blessed to have known and rocked with him!"
The new grant was developed in partnership with Pharrell Williams' i am OTHER company and Arizona State University. The multi-year initiative will benefit seven high schools in Philadelphia; Brooklyn, Los Angeles, New Orleans; Miami; and Newark, New Jersey.
"I'm so honored to have the J Dilla Music Tech Grant named after my son. This will continue his legacy and inspire the next generation of young creatives," Dilla's mom, Maureen "Ma Dukes" Yancey, said in a statement.
Save the Music launched in 1997 and has launched more than 2,000 music programs at schools.