Thursday, March 05, 2009

Everyone's Son

No matter what you do in life, you will always be your mother's son. Or daughter. She owns you in a way that no one else possibly could.

Some mother's sons grow up to belong to someone else. To something else. Sometimes they belong to the ages. The mothers of those sons--happily, reluctantly or matter-of-factly--share their babies with those others. That thing. it is in Maureen Yancey's case...the ages.

If you know anything about J Dilla--and you really should--you've probably heard the name, Ma Dukes. She did an interview with Garth Trinidad a couple weeks back on the eve of the debut of the happiest heartbreak that has ever been pressed on vinyl.

You should listen to the interview. It's pretty telling. Mostly for the way she refers to her son. As Dilla. Same way any of us would refer to him. And it sounds just a little bit awkward tumbling off her tongue. It almost sounds like she's referring to someone she sincerely reveres, but who doesn't belong to her. As if she's just as grateful for the gift of his music as all of us are.

Well, most of us are grateful. Some of us don't have enough curse words at my disposal to effectively describe the actions of Dilla's estate. There's a war going on outside and, apparently, none of the Yancey family are safe from it.

Which is a shame. 'Cause Dilla doesn't really belong to any one of us. He belongs to all of us. To the ages.

Unless, maybe, Ma Dukes decides otherwise.

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