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J Dilla's Donuts (33 1/3)


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Table of Contents

1. Welcome to the Show 2. The Diff'rence 3. Hi. 4. Waves 5. Stop! 6. The Twister (Huh, What) 7. Workinonit 8. Two Can Win 9. Geek Down 10. The New 11. Bye.

Promotional Information

A compelling, multidisciplinary analysis of hip-hop producer J Dilla's deathbed record Donuts as both a cultural artifact and an example of historical 'late style'.

About the Author

Jordan Ferguson is a freelance culture writer based in Toronto. He can be found online at


This intelligent book uses the records and insights of Dilla's contemporaries to examine his approach to production, his relationships within the genre, love of records and how Donuts can be seen as a piece of music attuned to its creator's failing health. An insightful and emotive read. -- James Griffin * Bonafide Magazine *
Jordan Ferguson's book on Donuts provides a trove of information about what was clearly one of the albums of the last decade of any genre [...]Ferguson offers a cogent reading of the album. Others have speculated that Jay Dee buried "secret messages" within the tracks. I don't know how secret they are but it is clear that there were major preoccupations, life-death-relationships and, of course, music. What he produced was a brilliant, multi-layered, sonically exhilarating work and Ferguson has done the album justice with this slim volume. -- Robert Iannapollo * ARSC Journal *
Excerpted * Stones Throw *
That such a lively collection of beats and samples-as cerebral as they are physical-was created by a dying man ensures that Jordan Ferguson's book will be poignant, but his clear storytelling and direct prose allows producer James Yancey to emerge as a complicated, contradictory character. The first half is the most extensive biography we have of the man, from his childhood in Detroit to his death in Los Angeles, just three days after the release of Donuts. The second half grapples with the album as a meditation on mortality, which only shows what an immense talent the world lost. -- Stephen M. Deusner * Pitchfork *

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