It has been reported that drummer, composer and documentarian, Questlove will executive produce a new documentary highlighting the life and times of seminal hip hop producer, J Dilla. The film, which shares the same title of the 2022 book, “Dilla Time” written by music journalist Dan Charnas, will cover “‘the brief life and pervasive and largely uncredited influence of music producer J Dilla.’ Dilla worked with some of hip hop’s biggest names throughout the ’90s and into the early ’00s, including Questlove, as well as Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest, Common and Erykah Badu,” according to the film’s official description.
Amir “Questlove” Thompson and the Root’s production company, Two One Five will rejoin Summer of Soul producer Joseph Patel, who is slated to produce and co-direct the film with Darby Wheeler. The wild success “Summer of Soul” won numerous awards, including the Academy Award for Best Documentary earlier this year.
“Explaining musical genius is my mission. To be able to tell the world about the musician that had the most influence on me is a dream come true,” says a statement from Questlove. “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 the rhythm in a way we had never felt before. I’m so honored to be a part of bringing his story to the world through this documentary.”
“Dilla Time” will be produced in cooperation with the estate of James Dewitt Yancey (aka J Dilla), which benefits his two children, younger brother and mother, writes Hollywood Reporter.
J Dilla’s estate shared in a statement it is “proud to give its blessing to an amazing project created by discerning and talented filmmakers who knew J Dilla.” The statement continues, “We trust the judgment of Ahmir, Joseph, Dan, and Scenario to elevate Dilla’s life, music, and legacy to their rightful place in the canon of music’s great innovators; and their film is the only documentary project we have endorsed.”
The profoundly talented Dilla, who died of a rare blood disease in 2006, sat at the foundation of the neo-soul musical revolution which launched the careers of D’Angela, Erykah Badu and more. Dilla’s deep sense of musical grace and jazzy tonal beats took the world by storm and helped solidify hip hop as a viable and inescapably impressive form of Black music.
Hollywood Reporter states, “Two One Five recently acted as executive producers on doc ‘Descendant’ about the discovery of the last known slave ship to arrive in America illegally transporting enslaved Africans. After a 2022 Sundance premiere, Netflix and President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground acquired the film, which is now due for release on Oct. 21.”