His name wasn't known to mainstream audiences, and when he died at the age of thirty-two he had never had a pop hit. Yet since his death, J Dilla has become a demigod, revered as one of the most important musical figures of the past hundred years, a genius who transformed the sound of popular music for the Twenty First Century.
With revelatory detail, Dan Charnas shows how, as the producer behind some of the most influential rap and R&B acts of his day, Dilla created a new kind of musical time-feel. Dilla and his drum mnachines reinvented the way musicians play.
Equal parts biography, musicology and cultural history, Dilla Time chronicles the life and legacy of James Dewitt Yancey, from his Detroit childhood to his rise as a sought-after hip-hop producer to the rare blood disease that caused his premature death. This is the story of a complicated man and his machines; his family. friends, partners and celebrity collaborators; and his undeniable legacy. Based on nearly two hundred original interviews, and filled with graphics that teachus to feel and to 'see' the rhythm of Dilla's beats, Dilla Time is a book as defining and unique as J Dilla's music itself.