Don’t sweat it if you don’t know who hip hop producer J Dilla is. I only had a rough understanding of who he was, and what his impacts on music were, before I read Dan Charnas’ amazing biography.
Dilla was a hip hop producer in the 90’s whose programming of drum machines brought in a style of drumming which nobody had ever really heard before. His beats were erratic and off time, which on those early drum machines took some effort to achieve. They weren’t quite straight time, and they weren’t swing time. They were in Dilla Time. He used this technique to give his music a slightly off, slightly drunk, even slightly unsettling feeling.
A great read, especially for those who love 90’s hip hop and sampling. Buy it at your small local independent book store.