REFLECTION I decided to do a semi-fictional story showing the events leading up to the death of James Yancey (J Dilla). All of the characters are real. But the story is just my fictional interpretation. J Dilla was an incredible individual who played a meaningful role in hip-hop during the 90’s and the early 00’s. He was born in Detroit and was heavily influenced by Motown and Soul when he was growing up. He became very involved with the Pharcyde during the 90’s but only started making his own records in the 00’s. He also got to meet influential hip-hop groups at a young age such as A Tribe Called Quest, Busta Rhymes, and De La Soul. His music has been called peaceful, sophisticated, boisterous, hypnotic, organic, and celebratory. Critics even say that his level of genius compared with that of Charlie Parker’s. I spent A LOT of time researching J Dilla before actually starting this project. I watched documentaries, read interviews, found quotes on him, and took many notes. The way the characters act is as accurate as I could make them. They were just in awe when watching him work. I wanted to truly capture his spirit as well as the presence that he created when around other musicians. His ability to take a song and completely morph and mold it into another was unmatched. I used rappers Frank Bush (From Frank-n-Dank) and Common to show his relationship with peers. I found through research that he was a genuine friend and worked whenever he was given time. Making beats was like breathing for him. If I could actually turn this into a film I would want to take a minimalistic approach to the imagery. I want the basement to feel as empty as possible. My main emphasis would be on the music and how the characters react around it. I would like to use four parts for an entire script. The first, his childhood. The second, his relationship with the hip-hop acts in the 90’s. The third, his transition to solo work. The forth, his last tour and eventually, his death. Extra things to note: James Yancey was frequently called J Dilla, Jay Dee, and Jay. Born February 7, 1974. Died of a rare blood disease called Lupus on February 10, 2006. If you get the chance, listen to the songs that I mentioned about in the script. The original song is "Johnny don’t do it" by 10cc. (CONTINUED)
The song that J Dilla creates from "Johnny donâ€™t do it" is called "Waves" and is released in 2006 on the album Donuts. It will give you some idea of how he constructs his music.