Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, an Academy Award winner for his documentary Summer of Soul, is slated to executive produce Dilla Time, a film on the life and enduring legacy of music producer J Dilla.
The documentary will be created in collaboration with the James Dewitt Yancey (aka J Dilla) estate by Thompson’s Two One Five Entertainment, his “Summer of Soul” producer Joseph Patel, New York Times bestselling author Dan Charnas, Cinetic Media, and Scenario Media.
“The estate of James Dewitt Yancey, and its wholly-owned production entity, Pay Jay Productions, Inc., which benefits J Dilla’s two children, his younger brother, and his mother, is proud to give its blessing to an amazing project created by discerning and talented filmmakers who knew J Dilla. 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 New York Times bestseller Dilla Time: The Life and Afterlife of J Dilla, The Hip-Hop Producer Who Reinvented Rhythm by Dan Charnas served as the inspiration for the movie Dilla Time. The book chronicles the complex life of the Detroit-born artist who passed away at age 32 from a rare blood condition. It also proposes an important new idea regarding the seismic influence Dilla’s time-bending drum machine manipulations had on contemporary pop music.
The documentary will include commentary from some of the most important and forward-thinking personalities in contemporary music and will be equal parts biography, musicology, and musical meditation.
“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 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 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.”
Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson will serve as executive producer of “Dilla Time,” along with his producing partners Zarah Zolhman, Shawn Gee, and Tariq Trotter of Two One Five Entertainment. Joseph Patel, Dan Charnas, and Rodrigo Bascuñán, Darby Wheeler and Anupa Mistry, are set to produce. Dana O’Keefe and Cinetic Media will executive produce. The film will be co-directed by Joseph Patel and Darby Wheeler.