Today in Hip-Hop History: J Dilla’s ‘Donuts’


Today in Hip-Hop History: February 7th, 2006

J Dilla drops Donuts

Today in hip-hop history marks the ten-year anniversary of J Dilla’s legendary DonutsThis was Dilla’s ninth studio album released on his birthday and shockingly his last one. What’s compelling about this album isn’t the fact that he died three days after. It’s not even the rare blood disease took his life. It’s his transparent and humble love for music. Even during his last stages, “Dilla completed 29 of the 31 songs on the aforementioned Donuts instrumental LP, his latest masterful release, while still in the hospital,” Stonesthrow reports. “[Friends] brought him a little Boss [SP] 303 sampler and little 45 record player.” That alone should speak volumes as to how much love Dilla had for music.

The legacy and posthumous music he left behind was a whole universe of what could have been. In SoundofBoston’s interview with Slum Village, they exclaimed that roughly 150 beats were still unused and that there were more that they were still looking through. Dilla was a writer whose pen was a needle on a record player. He didn’t have journals of ideas, he had samples. Hip-hop doesn’t take death lightly, especially an artist with so much love for the culture such as Dilla. Your favorite rapper probably listens and used Dilla’s beats. Your favorite producer probably has a poster of Dilla up somewhere in the studio.

Last summer we covered ten essential J Dilla tracks, and while you should check that out, you should explore through some more of his artistry. Very few artists are celebrated and admired as true individuals, and J Dilla is one of them.