Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Eagerly anticipated (J Dilla: Donuts):

"When Pharrell Williams was asked about his favorite hip-hop producer during a BET interview in 2004 he replied, “You may not know his name, but J Dilla, Jay Dee from Detroit.” Indeed, the interviewer didn't know – J Dilla has eluded the spotlight, preferring the studio to the stage or video. His work is mostly released by independents, for different groups, and under different names, but his core audience and cult status has grown. His pirated beat tapes (instrumentals, raw working material for rappers) have become something of urban legend, as their circulation from hand to hand and over the internet have led to a black market of Dilla beat tape collectors.

"A cover story in URB (Mar 2004) made public his recent, sudden struggle with illness, and recently rumors began circulating again about health emergencies and hospitalization. Asked about this in XXL (June 2005), Dilla himself partially confirmed these stories. “The rumors were like, ‘Jay Dee is dead’ and all that, but I was just in the hospital. I was in ICU, with all types of tubes. It was crazy.”

"Working both from his home studio and while hospitalized – from a portable sound system including turntable, samplers, and small boxes of vinyl brought in and out from visitors – Dilla continued making music at his usual non-stop pace, circulating beats to MCs, and coming up with the foundation of what would become "Donuts".

"Begun simply enough as a production beat tape, "Donuts" evolved into a project as unusual as the environment in which it was created. It's a hip-hop album without MC's. An album of electronic music that at times sounds like a 70s soul mixtape. Its abrupt transitions and numerous interludes might make you think you're rapidly turning the radio dial in some strange city where every station is programmed by a certain Detroit hip-hop producer. "Donuts" is J Dilla doing what he does best – crafting hip-hop, soul and electronic music into his own sound.

"And a few have asked, “What's up with the title?” Easy explanation. Dilla likes donuts."

Read more at: http://www.stonesthrow.com/jdilla/

An album made largely from the confines of a hospital bed? How cool! Here's my favorite song by this guy: J Dilla Sample (Click Me)

(unrelated) footnote: Also, yesterday at Wycliffe Hall, "Fish Pizza" was served for lunch. Disgusting. --JAZ

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