Broken Record J Dilla: Dan Charnas on the Life and Legacy of Jay Dee

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Today we’re talking to Dan Charnas—author, hip-hop journalist, professor, show runner, former A&R person for Def American, and also a longtime friend of Rick Rubin’s. Charnas’s latest book, Dilla Time: The Life and Afterlife of J Dilla, The Hip-Hop Producer Who Reinvented Rhythm is the product of four years of exhaustive research and nearly 200 interviews.

On today’s episode, Rick Rubin speaks with Dan Charnas about how the roots of his new 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. Rick and Dan also reminisce about their earliest memories together and Dan shares what it was like meeting Rick’s mother, Mrs. Rubin, for the first time.

Hear a playlist of all of our favorite songs produced by J Dilla as well as songs Dan Charnas worked on HERE.

The Hosts

Rick Rubin

In addition to being a podcast host, Frederick Jay “Rick” Rubin is an American record producer and former co-president of Columbia Records. Along with Russell Simmons, he is the co-founder…

Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell is co-founder of Pushkin Industries and host of the hit podcast Revisionist History. He is a journalist, a speaker, and the author of several New York Times bestsellers including The Tipping…

Justin Richmond

Justin Richmond is producer and co-host of the music podcast Broken Record with writer Malcolm Gladwell, New York Times editor Bruce Headlam, and music producer—and Def Jam co-founder—Rick Rubin. Justin…

Bruce Headlam

Bruce Headlam is one of the co-creators of the music podcast Broken Record. He worked at The New York Times for 19 years, including two years running the 50-person Video…