Dilla Time By Dan Charnas

  • Narrated by: Dan Charnas
  • Length: 14 hrs and 52 mins
  • Release date: 02-01-22

Dilla Time By Dan Charnas AudioBook Summary

This program contains examples of J Dilla’s music performed in the story by drummer Nate Smith and is accompanied by a bonus PDF of maps, photos, guides, and more.

“This book is a must for everyone interested in illuminating the idea of unexplainable genius.” (QUESTLOVE)

Equal parts biography, musicology, and cultural history, Dilla Time chronicles the life and legacy of J Dilla, a musical genius who transformed the sound of popular music for the 21st century.

He wasn’t known to mainstream audiences, even though he worked with renowned acts like D’Angelo and Erykah Badu and influenced the music of superstars like Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson. He died at the age of 32, and in his lifetime he never had a pop hit. Yet since his death, J Dilla has become a demigod: revered by jazz musicians and rap icons from Robert Glasper to Kendrick Lamar; memorialized in symphonies and taught at universities. And at the core of this adulation is innovation: a new kind of musical time-feel that he created on a drum machine, but one that changed the way “traditional” musicians play.

In Dilla Time, Dan Charnas chronicles the life of James DeWitt Yancey, from his gifted childhood in Detroit, to his rise as a Grammy-nominated hip-hop producer, to the rare blood disease that caused his premature death; and follows the people who kept him and his ideas alive. He also rewinds the histories of American rhythms: from the birth of soul in Dilla’s own “Motown,” to funk, techno, and disco. Here, music is a story of Black culture in America and of what happens when human and machine times are synthesized into something new. Dilla Time is a different kind of book about music, a visual experience with graphics that build those concepts step by step for fans and novices alike, teaching us to “see” and feel rhythm in a unique and enjoyable way.

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