J Dilla welcomes us to the Donut Shop

Although James Dewitt Yancey – better known as J Dilla – only lived to be 32 years old, you would be hard pressed to find anyone who could say that he didn’t squeeze every last drop out of the live that he’d been given. (Well, maybe other than Weezy). His mother, an opera singer, said that J Dilla’s interest in music began when he was just two-years-old and that he would carry turntables and 45’s to the park in downtown Detroit to spin records.

He began making beats in 1992, was part of 1st Down – the first Detroit rap group to sign with a major label – and produced tracks with hip hop and R&B heavyweights like Common, Busta Rhymes, and Raphael Saadiq. He was even part of the Soulquarians – a production collective featuring a host of the genres most influential artists including ?uestlove, Erykah Badu, and D’Angelo. He’s even proved to be a force in the afterlife, having released four albums since his February 2006 death. For #5, Stones Throw Records is honoring the producer/rapper’s legacy by releasing a six-song EP – Donut Shop – for free.

The EP features three unheard tracks (including a version of Men Without Hats’ “The Safety Dance”) and three instrumental versions of tracks used by Mos Def, Busta Rhymes, and Q-Tip, and is available for download on Stones Throw’s website. While causal listeners might be satisfied with 41 megabytes of new music for their iPods, hardcore Dilla fans will want to spring for the $35 vinyl release which also features two slipmats and two sides of music to use with Scratch Live – vinyl emulation software that allows DJs to scratch and manipulate their digital music files.

Check out the tracklist below and download the EP here.

Donuts Shop EP Tracklist:
01. Safety Dance
02. Sycamore
03. Bars & Twists
04. History (Mos Def)
05. Move (Q-Tip)
06. You Can’t Hold A Tourch (Busta Rhymes)


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