'The Legacy of J Dilla' Documentary to Premiere in April

The film will take a deep dive into the influential producer’s rise in hip-hop.

Legendary rapper and producer J Dilla is set to be the focus of a new documentary from FX and Hulu that will take an extensive look into the innovative and highly influential emcee’s life and his family's struggle to preserve his legacy.

Presented by The New York Times, The Legacy of J Dilla is described as “an intimate portrait” of the late hip-hop figure. It will feature interviews with members of the Detroit native’s family as they discuss his rise to fame and the obstacles they’ve endured trying to safeguard his life’s work since his passing two decades ago.

The movie is produced and directed by Grammy-nominated filmmaker Christopher Frierson, best known for his work on Don’t Try to Understand: A Year in the Life of Earl “DMX” Simmons, and Primetime Emmy award-winning director Esther Dere (Undercover Boss).

RELATED: Nas Premiered A New Song At SXSW, And It's Produced By J Dilla

Dilla, born James Dewitt Yancey, died on February 10, 2006, at his home in Los Angeles, California, just three days after his 32nd birthday following a long battle with lupus. The rapper’s mother, Maureen Yancey, said her son had gone into cardiac arrest just days after the release of his final album, Donuts.

“I’m a Detroiter, and I’m a fighter,” Yancey told TV Insider while speaking on her pursuit to keep Dilla's name alive. “I will stay in there, and I will fight. I won’t let anybody put my son down, what I do for him down, because I’m here to lift up his music, his legacy.”

Academy Award-winning producer Questlove is also set to honor the late musician as executive producer for Dilla Time, an adaptation of Dan Charnas’ 2022 biography Dilla Time: The Life And Afterlife of J Dilla, The Hip Hop Producer Who Reinvented Rhythm.

The “part biography, part musicology, and part musical meditation” will be co-directed by Joseph Patel and Darby Wheeler, who also worked on the Oscar-winning film Summer Of Soul and J Dilla’s estate.

The Legacy of Dilla airs on April 7 on FX and will be available for streaming on Hulu the following day.

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