Culture

A J Dilla Documentary Based On ‘Dilla Time’ Biography Is In The Works

Questlove and Dilla Time author Dan Charnas are collaborating on a documentary about late producer, rapper, and musician J Dilla.

A documentary on J Dilla is coming. On Thursday (September 22), The Hollywood Reporter shared that The Roots drummer and Summer of Soul director has signed on to bring the non-fiction project to life. The documentary will be based on recent Dilla biography Dilla Time: The Life and Afterlife of J Dilla by author and educator Dan Charnas, who taught a course at New York University on the former Slum Village member.

Charnas shared his enthusiasm about the upcoming film on Twitter, confirming that Dilla’s estate is cooperating with Questlove’s film company, Two One Five Entertainment.

“I took a long break from thinking about telling a visual story while I wrote the book, because getting the book right was more important than anything,” Charnas wrote.

“What we’ve done here is preserve the independence of the storytelling while making sure that the people Dilla loved are connected to the project in a meaningful way,” he added.

“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. Not just on me, but on an entire generation of musicians that everyone knows and loves,” Questlove said in a statement. “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.”

As The Hollywood Reporter noted, Questlove and Two One Five will work with Summer of Soul producer Joseph Patel on the documentary, who will produce and co-direct with Darby Wheeler. Questlove, as well as fellow Two One Five partners Zarah Zolhman, Shawn Gee, and Black Thought, will act as executive producers on Dilla Time.

Jaelani Turner-Williams

Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with bylines at Billboard, MTV News, NYLON, Recording Academy and more. Read her mind on Twitter at @hernameisjae.

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