This week marked the 10th Anniversary of James Yancey bka Jay Dee / J Dilla’s classic instrumental opus ‘Donuts’. Released February 7th 2006, Dilla’s 32nd birthday and just 3 days prior to his untimely death from complications of the blood disease lupus. There’s little to say about the record that’s not already been said - it was largely created from Dilla’s hospital bed, and via choice of sample material references death and mortality. Because of the circumstances in which it was created and the timing of its release it has rightly been heralded as a seminal release and something of a personal fairwell from one of hip hop’s most influential producers. On a more detached analysis however it’s a record that, whilst sharing some themes with Yancey’s many beat tapes, has a more mixtape oriented feel than many prior beat collections or more traditionally structured albums such as 2001’s Welcome to Detroit.
Stream the full album on Youtube here.
[Purchase physical copies / check release details on Discogs here]