According to hip-hop lore, the reason J Dilla named his final album Donuts was simply because, well, he liked doughnuts. The thirty-one beats that make up Donuts ended up being somewhat of a last will and testament for James Yancey, who died just days after the release of Donuts on February 10, 2006.
The beats still turn up on albums by hip-hop’s greatest. “Lightworks” went to the supervillain MC Doom for a song of the same name, and “One for Ghost” fulfilled the title’s prophecy and became Ghostface Killah’s “Whip You With A Strap.” Elsewhere, the beatmaker still influences artists of all genres with his innovative uses of rhythm and sample placement. Celebrate the life and times by gobbling down a baker’s dozen or so of Donuts.
What’s your favorite Dilla beat? Share below.