Royce da 5’9” and the Detroit Pistons have partnered on a new capsule celebrating the sustaining legacy of the late J Dilla.

“Those familiar with Dilla’s musical genius understand his impact on hip-hop but there are still so many who aren’t familiar with his legacy,” Bilal Saeed, the Pistons’ VP of Brand & Marketing Strategy, said this week when teasing the collection. “The Pistons wanted to tell his story in a creative way while also continuing to shed light on the city’s impact on music around the world.”

Royce, who’s credited as art director on the capsule, called it a “great honor” to help bring this personally important project to the world.

“Dilla’s enduring legacy is a treasure that must be safeguarded at any expense,” Royce said in a press release.

Notably, the capsule is launching to the general public on March 13, i.e. on Detroit’s 313 Day. Wednesday’s announcement, meanwhile, coincides with what would have been Dilla’s 50th birthday. The beloved and impactful producer suffered from lupus and a rare blood disorder. He died at the age of 32 back in 2006.

“It is a great honor to be responsible for curating his likeness in this exclusive merchandise drop entrusted to me by his estate and the Pistons,” Royce said on Wednesday. “This campaign holds major significance not just for myself, but also for the city of Detroit and the hip-hop community as a whole.” 

Expect a closer look at the collection in the days leading up to 313 Day.

Ma Dukes, Dilla’s mother, was recently honored alongside daughter Ja’Mya Yancey as part of the Crown Royal-presented Black History Month Detroit Creative program. 

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