J Dilla is one of the most legendary producers of all time. Chances are, you’ve heard his name mentioned in a song. And there are even better chances that you’ve heard one of his legendary beats from the instrumental album “Donuts” sampled in a song. Today is the 10th anniversary of the release of “Donuts,” which is a 31-song compilation of instrumentals that flawlessly transition from one to the next to create a soothing cohesiveness that is not found in many bodies of work. You can throw this on and relax for 43 minutes of pure beauty.
“Donuts” is not only a great album in and of itself, there is also an incredible story behind it. J Dilla was diagnosed with an incurable blood disease in 2002. From that moment until his death, rather than pack it in, he worked tirelessly to make as much music as he could. A true story of doing what you love with your life. What’s even more amazing about “Donuts” is that 29 of the 31 songs were made from his hospital bed. Let that soak in for a second. This guy made one of the best (if not the best) instrumental albums of all time from his hospital bed, with nothing but a small record player and a Boss SP-303 sampler. His album was released on February 7, 2006. J Dilla died at the age of 32 on February 10, 2006. He truly did the most he could with his gift in his all too short lifetime.