Dig of the Month: J Dilla – Donuts

“His music embraces the soul, heart and mind of the listener, because it is built on love. His music is a recipe for loving others  and the disappointment that sometimes affects us when we dare to care.” – Ma Dukes

Around this time each year, the life of the Detroit beatmaker legend, one of the most respected producers of all time in hip-hop and beyond: James Dewitt Yancey a.k.a. Jay Dee  is celebrated in all corners across the globe. This month, he would be turning 44: Hence let’s raise it up for the late great Dilla and honour the legacy he’s left with us, his modern genius and untouchable skills on the MPC.

HOW J DILLA HUMANIZED HIS MPC3000:

 

Dilla didn’t believe in reading manuals or automatising anything. Still, he had a way to fill the square pads with pure soul and make the machine translate humanity.
Music he’s created as founder of Slum Village, member of production collective called the Ummah and in collaboration with iconic names such as Busta Rhymes, Erykah Badu, The Roots, A Tribe Called Quest, D’Angelo, MF DOOM, Talib Kweli, Madlib, Pharcyde, Common, De La Soul, among many others… All of that is ground-breaking music touching every genre imaginable, with his production techniques still influencing some of the biggest names in the game today.  J Dilla lived as a representation of complete humility, a strong personality and proper honouring of musicians that he loved in his life. The importance of the man‘s presence on this planet remains steady despite his passing in 2006, only three days after his 32nd birthday, when one of his most fascinating and beloved albums was released. Donuts.

‚Donuts‘ as Dillas favourite tasty treats/record-shaped objects/circles symbolizing loops, blood clots or things coming full circle.. there are many speculative metaphors for what the album title truly represents, along with hidden messages in the original samples.

What remains certain is that the majority of this album was produced in the hospital bed during his very last days amongst us, therefore in a way it is the last piece of music that was released under his personal conduct. Donuts is still widely considered the best instrumental hip-hop album of all times.
This post could be really long, but there are not many things that have been left unsaid, therefore let’s just let the music speak for itself. Following are 2 of the most cherished tributes to the man himself to soothe your soul.
J.ROCC THANK YOU JAY DEE ACT 2.
2nd of a 4-part series released between Feb 13 2006-2009 by J.Rocc

MOCHILA PRESENTS TIMELESS: SUITE FOR MA DUKES:

Touching tribute concert to late great J Dilla by a 60-piece orchestra put together by Miguel Atwood Ferguson. Salute from the classical world.

Rest in Beats Mr. Yancey. Thank you.

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