J Dilla's Donuts began simply enough, in summer 2005, as an idea to turn a particularly good demo beat tape into a full-length release. We think we can safely say it has since became a classic hip-hop album, one of the defining works of the artist's life.
This box set includes the album on seven 45s and a bonus 45 with "Signs" from the long out-of-print Donuts 'Fan Club 45' b/w DOOM & Ghostface's "Sniper Elite & Murder Goons" - two tracks over Donuts beats which were recorded in late 2005 prior to the original release of the album. These two tracks were released digitally in 2008, but have never before appeared on vinyl.
Side D contains the "Donuts Outro/Intro" appearing as an interlude at the beginning of "The Diff'rence" which dates back to the first, original sequence of the album.
Completed during a year in which J Dilla spent mostly in a hospital bed at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Donuts would gain particular poignancy when, only three days after it's release, February 10, 2006, the artist passed away, losing his battle with a rare blood disease.
Announced in Fall 2005, the concept of a “rap album without rappers” struck some critics as either a novelty, or a minor break beat album - but Donuts would prove to transcend the rigid definitions of what a hip-hop album could be. It plays part like a DJ mix, and part like a hip-hop beat-maker at work, sounding like a producer turning the dial on an imaginary radio station. But it's an unmistakably modern album, and one which perfectly encapsulated the J Dilla's reputation among his peers and fans as the definitive architect of soulful hip-hop.