Producers are finally starting to get the credit they deserve in Hip-hop. Although the genre will always place the lion's share of attention on emcees, the producers that provide the music on which rappers apply their bars are starting to receive newfound respect. The rise of Southern Hip-hop in the 2000s helped usher in the shift of prioritizing beats over rhymes within several sects of the rap fandom. In modernity, Hip-hop and its fans have seemingly struck a healthy balance between the two halves of the rap equation, allowing a litany of producers to become superstars in their own right. However, before artists like Metro Booming, Murda Beats, and London on da track became household names in rap music, one producer became an underground legend for his imaginative instrumentals decades earlier.
Off the back of his Oscar-winning documentary Summer of Soul, The Roots' Questlove is gearing up to develop a film about the legendary producer J. Dilla. Despite his untimely death at 32, Dilla's shadow on the music industry still looms large. Hopefully, the new documentary will help a new generation of Hip-hop heads discover the staggering brilliance of Dilla.
Dilla Time will document, according to the project's description, "the brief life and pervasive and largely uncredited influence of music producer J Dilla." Dilla worked with some of hip-hop's biggest names throughout the '90s and into the early '00s, including Questlove, as well as Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest, Common and Erykah Badu. Other collaborators include Ye, Dr. Dre and Pharrell Williams, and his influence can be heard in the newer generation of hip-hop like Kendrick Lamar, Flying Lotus, Kamasi Washington and Hiatus Kaiyote.