Questlove is bringing the impactful yet all-too-short life of J Dilla to the screen. The Roots drummer is continuing his documentary hot streak, as he’s set to executive produce Dilla Time, a feature on the late producer and hip-hop icon.
Based on Dan Charnas’ bestselling book Dilla Time: The Life and Afterlife of J Dilla, The Hip-Hop Producer Who Reinvented Rhythm, the film Dilla Time will tell the fascinating story of the Detroit native, who died of a rare blood disease in 2006 at age 32. It’ll also go into
Billed as “part biography, part musicology, and part musical meditation,” the documentary will feature conversations with just a few of the modern musicians who were inspired by J Dilla’s work. And to help ensure Dilla Time does the musical mastermind justice, it will be produced in cooperation with his estate, making this the only project on J Dilla that his family has endorsed.
“Explaining musical genius is my mission,” Questlove wrote 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.”
Questlove made his directorial debut in 2021 with the acclaimed Summer of Soul (Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), and he’s also working alongside Mick Jagger for a documentary on James Brown. Last year also saw the 20th anniversary of J Dilla’s solo debut Welcome 2 Detroit.