J Dilla - Donuts

J Dilla - Donuts

Released in 2006, Donuts is the iconic instrumental hip hop record from producer James Dewitt Yancey as J Dilla.


Recorded with an evolving box of records and a Boss SP-303 sampler, Donuts is a rich and psychedelic tapestry of about one hundred samples across it’s thirty short and dream like tracks. A woozy soul infused trip, like driving around at twilight with a radio skipping endlessly through stations. Every moment is a skilful and hugely ingenious reapportion of sounds, from the recognisable (perhaps most recognisable with 10cc's blazing "The Worst Band in the World" taking centre stage as album opener "Workinonit") through to the textures and tones of ESG, The Sylvers, Galt MacDermot and the sirens of Mantronix’s "King of the Beats" that become so ubiquitous across the record. His ability to hear a sound and remove it's context is unparalleled, a sonic magpie composing.

J Dilla Donuts on 45

Originally released on his 32nd birthday - and just three days before his tragic and untimely death - Donuts is the magnum opus in a short but hugely inspirational career. Remarkably, Donuts was - for the vast majority - recorded at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles where J Dilla was receiving treatment for much of 2005. A true artist creating his greatest work under the most extraordinary confines. In just a decade, J Dilla produced artists to include; A Tribe Called Quest, Slum Village, De La Soul, The Pharcyde, Busta Rhymes, The Roots, Janet Jackson, D12, Q-Tip, Amp Fiddler, Talib Kweli, Ghostface Killah, Mos Def, DOOM and Common. His signature stylings are always so present, the producers finger prints on every inch of the speaker.

J Dilla

So many of you will already know this album inside out and back to front. It’s one of those special records that really gets under your skin and you recognise not only the production and the songs, but also the clicks and pops and idiosyncrasies that make it so special. Some of you will not know it yet, and hopefully today we’ve inspired you to check it out. So whether for the first, the twentieth or the unfathomable-to-even-guess-how-many-th time, we hope that your Sunday involves spinning Donuts, it is a remarkable album; a testament to deft skill and  boundless imagination.

Starting with an outro and looping like daydreams (or Donuts?), it truly is iconic.



Drift Sunday Classic


• In stock now, we have Donuts available as the 2016 10th anniversary edition.
• Double vinyl. Vitamin J 100%. Vitamin D 100%.
• J. Dilla in his home studio, photographed by Raph Rashid.

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