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The J Dilla Book We've Been Waiting For Is Hitting Shelves Soon

By JayQuan

Author and professor Dan Charnas’ soon to be released Dilla Time: The Life and Afterlife of J Dilla, the Hip-Hop Producer Who Reinvented Rhythm is equal parts biography, musicology, cultural history and a chronicle of the life of James “Dilla” Yancey from his Detroit childhood to his rise as one of Hip Hop’s most revered producers. Dilla’s rare blood disease that caused his premature death will also be covered as well as the people who kept him, his ideas, and his music alive.

The birth of American Rhythms from Detroit’s Motown sound to funk, electro and disco will all be focal points of Charnas’ latest offering. Created from over 150 interviews, this is the story of the producer who didn’t quantize his drums, earning the title of “sloppy” by some critics. However, his technique gave his drums a more human feel and gave birth to legions of bedroom producers who turned the quantize option off.

The man that Charnas dubs, “One of the most important and influential musical figures of the past 100 years,” perfected his sound early as a part of Slum Village and the Soulquarians: a collective of producers that included D’Angelo, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Erykah Badu, Bilal , Q Tip and a host of others.

Pre orders of the book are now available for $30 with a projected February 1, 2022 release date.

For more excellent books on Hip-Hop, check out our reading list here.

For more about Detroit's rich Hip-Hop history, head here.