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Questlove announced that his Two One Five Entertainment company is executive producing a new feature-length documentary called Dilla Time.
The upcoming feature is based on Dan Charnas’ book Dilla Time: The Life And Afterlife Of J Dilla, The Hip-Hop Producer Who Reinvented Rhythm, released in February of this year.
“Explaining musical genius is my mission,” Questlove said in a statement. “To be able to tell the world about the musician that had the most influence on me is a dream come true. Not just on me, but on an entire generation of musicians that everyone knows and loves. J Dilla was our teacher. And what he taught us was how to feel rhythm in a way we had ever felt before. I’m so honored to be a part of bringing his story to the world through this documentary.”
Born James Dewitt Yancey, J Dilla, or Jay Dee, was a revered beatmaker, emcee and crate-digger. He helped to curate the sounds of some of Hip Hop’s biggest icons, including A Tribe Called Quest, The Roots, Slum Village, The Pharcyde, Erykah Badu, Common and Bilal.
“I didn’t grow up listening to John Coltrane and Miles Davis. I didn’t even grow up listening to Fela Kuti or Jimi Hendrix,” Common said in a phone interview via The New York Times. “I’m bringing up their music because these artists and their work are everlasting. And J Dilla is one of those individuals.”
The feature will be co-directed by Joseph Patel and Darby Wheeler.
Dilla’s otherworldly soundscapes have influenced some of the culture’s most beloved producers–Madlib, Knxwledge, 9th Wonder and Flying Lotus–to name a few. J Dilla died in 2006 following a public battle with lupus.
He was 36.