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Audio CD, February 7, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Although J Dilla is respected mainly for his intrumental work, he has never crafted an entire album meant to be released insturmental until now. Donuts is accessible without being typical or easily defined: it's hip-hop without MC's, electronic music that at times sounds like a 70s soul mixtape. It's J Dilla doing what he does best....crafting hip-hop, soul and electronic music into his own sound. Stones. 2006.

Tragically, Donuts was released just three days before J Dilla (aka Jay Dee) passed away from complications arising from lupus--he was only 32. As one of his last projects, though, Donuts is a fitting reflection of Dilla's creativity and an apt tribute (however unintentional) to a career spent as the quintissential producer's producer. Unlike some of Dilla's previous instrumental albums, such as Welcome To Detroit, the songs here are less finished and polished pieces and more caught up in mid-creative motion. Unlike the soft, filtered sound he was known for in the mid-1990s, for Donuts he leaves a variety of soul and jazz loops in plain view but splices and reworks them as a set of sonic jigsaw puzzles. Spontaneous but not sloppy, the capture the late producer at his best--in the throes of his own imagination, each song poised with endless possibilities. --Oliver Wang

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Donuts (Outro)0:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Workinonit 2:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Waves 1:38$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Light My Fire0:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. The New0:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Stop 1:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. People 1:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. The Diff'rence 1:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Mash 1:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Time: The Donut of the Heart 1:38$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Glazed 1:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Airworks 1:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Lightworks 1:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Stepson Of The Clapper 1:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. The Twister (Huh, What) 1:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. One Eleven 1:11$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. Two Can Win 1:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. Don't Cry 1:59$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen19. Anti-American Graffiti 1:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen20. Geek Down 1:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen21. Thunder0:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen22. Gobstopper 1:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen23. One For Ghost 1:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen24. Dilla Says Go 1:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen25. Walkinonit 1:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen26. The Factory 1:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen27. U-Love 1:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen28. Hi. 1:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen29. Bye. 1:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen30. Last Donut Of The Night 1:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen31. Welcome To The Show 1:11$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 7, 2006)
  • Original Release Date: 2006
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Stones Throw
  • ASIN: B000AP2ZDK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,837 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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97 of 107 people found the following review helpful
By asdf on February 15, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This isn't Dilla's best work, far from it really. Had he made this album when healthy, knowing his work ethic, raw talent, and what he was capable of, I'm guessing this would've probably taken him about a week or two to complete. He'd made 5 unreleased beat tapes in 2005 averaging at about 30 tracks each, a large part of each being Donuts-esque instrumentals. Many of them being in my opinion just as good if not better than Donuts itself which I just think proves that he could churn these things out like they were nothing to him. What makes this album so interesting is the backstory on it.

Jay made a good majority of Donuts in the hospital while getting treatment for a slew of fatal diseases he'd been fighting for over four years. Death knocking at his door and was still more concerned with making music. He had a true love for his art and let nothing get in his way from creating it. Even when he should've been at home in bed trying to get better, he was out in a wheelchair touring all across the world. Just pure dedication in every sense of the word. He lived and died for his music.

I feel that certain samples and song titles used and just Jay's whole overall approach with Donuts proves that he knew he wasn't long for this world and that this was the album he wanted to release as his last goodbye. Titles like "Don't Cry", "Last Donut Of The Night", "Bye", "Time: The Donut Of The Heart", and so on. It seems almost every lyric sample used on this album he used as a voice to his final thoughts on his life and death.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Charles L. Hubbert on March 8, 2006
Format: Audio CD
J Dilla a.k.a. Jay Dee passed away Friday, February 10, 2006 from complications from lupus. I started the review off this way because a lot of people don't know a lot about Jay Dee. Unless you were heavily in tune with the hip-hop scene, you may not have noticed his presence. As an early member of Slum Village, Jay Dee was instrumental in bringing older R&B and Jazz sound back to the forefront of hip-hop music. It has always been present in rap music, dating back to "Rapper's Delight" by the Sugarhill Gang. It's been continured over the years by deejays like Pete Rock, Jazzy Jeff, Dj Premier, and most notably Kanye West. Jay Dee continued this tradition in all the music he has produced for the likes of A Tribe Called Quest, Slum Village, Pharcyde, and Common. Donuts is his last release before his untimely death and serves up some of the best instrumental music to rock your head to.

It's virtually impossible for this to be like other reviews where you break down each track. Each track possesses it's own unique flavor. And even though there are some that will leave you perplexed, it still shows you the extensive amount of time it must take to find those tracks that make the cut. Jay Dee obviously did a lot of digging in the crates for some of these cuts. Still other selections are a blending of sounds and samples, almost putting you in the mind of techno or drum-n-bass music.

Those that appreciate the time and energy it takes to be a deejay and producer will be enlightened from the collection on Donuts. If anything, Donuts will serve as the starting point and inspiration for the growing number of deejays and wannabe producers in the game today. Jay Dee's respect in the game didn't come over night, but he never let go of niche once he found his place in the industry.
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33 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Scott Woods on March 7, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This isn't the type of scratch fest that Mixmaster Mike or DJ Q-bert puts out. It's a collage of influences and some mad scientist rendering of those influences. It's fun, quirky, cool stuff, with just the dash of soul that J Dilla was known for. Without a rapper in sight, this one's for anyone who likes their hip-hop served up with the philosphies of jazz and beat-mixing: take the lead, then swing it.

RIP, J Dilla. What a great note to go out on.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By ctrx VINE VOICE on December 5, 2006
Format: Audio CD
When I heard that Jay Dee had passed away earlier this year, I went out and picked up his final release, 2006's "Donuts" instrumental album. I had been a fan of much of his production work in the nineties, especially his music made with the Pharcyde, A Tribe Called Quest, Common, and Slum Village. I have always considered him one of the most talented producers in hip hop and his death was a real loss to the music community. But even that couldn't prepare me for what an awesome listen "Donuts" is. "Donuts" is really a joy to listen to. I could listen to these tracks for hours. These are really unlike any instrumentals I have ever heard. Whereas the regular rap instrumental becomes tedious with its sixteen bars, hook, sixteen bars, hook, bridge, and hook pattern, Jay Dee's have absolutely no pattern. These songs are perfect to listen to and really entertaining, and in most cases I think putting rap verses over them would almost ruin them. Dilla compiled 31 tracks for this album, and most are only about a minute and a half long, which is a perfect length, not too short but never allowing a dull moment. "Donuts" is one of my favorite music releases of 2006 and I highly recommend it to all.

Jay Dee's style on this album is very focused and unlike any of his other work I've heard with other artists. Instead of regular hip hop sounds, he is heavy on guitar instrumentals, which makes an awesome sound, some comes across like a sort of soul and indie rock fusion. His style sounds nostalgic of a musical era long past, but you can't quite put your finger on it. This is J-Dilla's trademark. The music is often so beautiful. Songs like "The Diff'rence" and "Time: The Donut of the Heart" sound like really heartfelt tunes.
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