The Dilla Doc


Jaimie D'Cruz


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Director Jaimie D'Cruz


In hip hop culture the producer is King, and Dilla was the producers’ producer, a gamechanger who, before his early death, created a sound so original that hip hop would never sound the same again. This is the story of his brief but brilliant career.

Long Synopsis

James Yancey – aka Jay Dee, aka J Dilla was the most important producer you’ve never heard of. In a world in which the producer is king, Dilla was the producers’ producer. Hailing from the tough streets of Detroit, he was also a hugely talented artist in his own right as founder of cult hip hop group Slum Village. But it was as a producer that Dilla truly shone; he was a game-changer; one of those once-in-a-generation geniuses who comes out of leftfield and introduces a sound so original that hip hop would never sound the same.

From Busta Rhymes and Tribe Called Quest to Erykah Badu and Common; from D’Angelo and Wu Tang to Mos Def and Janet Jackson – a huge array of artists benefited from Dilla’s magic touch and entrancing beats. In the early 2000s Jay Dee was poised to become one of the most interesting artists of a generation. If events had followed a different path, he would have gone on to become a global star – not just an awe-inspiring talent whose name inspires hushed reverence from hip hop royalty. But then the world lost Dilla.

When James Yancey died at the age of just 32 in 2006, he left a creative void which has still not been filled. This film celebrates his life and tells his story.

Photo Credit: B+