J Dilla and the brilliant art of 'listening'


On the latest episode of Broken Record , Rick Rubin chats with his longtime friend Dan Charnas . Charnas is a Hip Hop journalist, professor, former A&R, and author of Dilla Time: The Life and Afterlife of J Dilla .

LISTEN NOW: J Dilla: Dan Charnas on the Life and Legacy of Jay Dee

Charnas's new book is the product of four years of exhaustive research and nearly 200 interviews. The roots of his book go all the way back to a trip to Detroit with rapper Chino XL to work with the producer then known as Jay Dee. “He loved everything; he was a master listener,” says Charnas , referring to J Dilla. “ He listened to electronic music, and he listened to funk… he had a record library like no other. That is one sensory memory that I had of the basement is walking through his record collection.”

Born James Dewitt Yancey , J Dilla was a well respected producer, who collaborated with Erykah Badu, Talib Kweli , and Common just to name a few. Most recently, J Dilla’s 2006 album Donuts was listed at number 48 on Rolling Stone’s Greatest Hip Hop Albums of All Time.

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