Listening Party: J Dilla’s Donuts

10 years ago last Sunday, producer’s producer J Dilla – born James Dewitt Yancey – released his swan song, Donuts. If you’re at all plugged into the music blogosphere, you may have heard a thing or two about this anniversary. A triumph of analog and the art of sampling, Donuts has been categorized posthumously as Yancey’s masterpiece (a lofty distinction for an artist whose production credits include songs for A Tribe Called Quest, The Pharcyde and Common). That Yancey recorded the album from a hospital bed and passed away three days after its release has only added to its gravitas. In that way, Donuts eerily mirrors another recently departed artist’s farewell.

If both Donuts and Yancey’s passing leave you winded to this day, know at least that you’re not alone. Classic Album Sundays will be celebrating Donuts‘ 10th anniversary with a series of listening parties in the coming weeks. Each event will include a run-through of the album and stories from those who consider it a touchstone. More information can be found here.

For more on the album, check out 33 1/3 author Jordan Ferguson’s musings on the legacy of J Dilla at 33 1/3’s Dilla Week (or give his 33 1/3 title on Donuts a look).

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