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Last Donut of the Night
December 21, 2011 12:14 PM   Subscribe

SLYT: Jazz trio Stray Phrases covers J Dilla's Donuts.
posted by avocet (11 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite

 
Rest in Power Mr Yancey

it's a shame people didn't ride his dick this hard when the man was alive

#justsaying
posted by 12bits at 12:29 PM on December 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


If you look around there are some other videos that actually show them playing. I’d go see this if I didn’t live in an entirely different part of the country.

-12bits-
I love Jay Dee, but I never heard of him until shortly before he died. I can’t help it. Fairly or not, I tend to write off a lot of Hip Hop (who am I kidding, I write off everything) until someone convinces me that it really is worth checking out. There’s just too much stuff to wade through, and even 95% of "this is the greatest thing ever" lists are not even close to what they claim.

As a result of my weird filtering I’ve been a J Dilla fan for years, but only heard Jay Z for the first time recently when he was on Fresh Air. Again, I was totally surprised that he doesn’t suck (the little I’ve heard). You don’t need to tell me how lame that is.
posted by bongo_x at 12:45 PM on December 21, 2011


See also: Miguel Atwood-Ferguson's Suite for Ma Dukes, which has a fantastic arrangement of "Donuts."
posted by evoque at 12:47 PM on December 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Aww, love this! I used to listen to Donuts obsessively. Neat to hear it like this. I hope they recorded this somewhere other than live - would love to have that file...
posted by VikingSword at 1:11 PM on December 21, 2011


Loving this - thanks for posting!
posted by Umami Dearest at 1:28 PM on December 21, 2011


J Dilla has influenced so many people... its ridiculous.

You know why people didn't "ride his dick this hard when [he] was alive" though? It's because the idea of "producer as a celebrity" wasn't a thing at that point. The only people that gave a shit about who produced a track were nerds... who are now very successful nerds. A lot of that changed around the time of Jay-Z's Blueprint records, where producers were starting to get written up on the track lists. The Neptunes were huge beneficiaries of this, as was a much younger, much less cynical Kanye West (And Timbaland, too!).

(This Wired article from Sept 2003 also comes to mind.)

Very much like the old adage about the Velvet Underground, almost anyone that bought an early Dilla record became a producer.

Now many producers (including many hometown heroes) and rappers are indebted to Dilla, Dabrye and Detroit in general. Legends don't need people to ride their dicks; they aren't mercurial or flavor of the week.

Love this post. Thank you for sharing.
posted by raihan_ at 1:29 PM on December 21, 2011


The thing with Jay Dee that has gotten him so much posthumous attention is just how many people he worked with and influenced. So many of those people have felt the need to create works in his memory and as a result there are beginning to be a lot of them.

I first became aware of Jay Dee around 2001-2 (I think as a side effect of him being name checked by Steve Spacek in an interview.) But it turned out he was already in all over some of my favourite records (for example, all of the best tracks on The Pharcyde's "Labcabincalifornia", Erykah Badu's "Didn't cha know", "Beats Rhymes & Life" etc)

FWIW I didn't like Donuts all that much. Go figure.

Robert Glasper did the "Jazz trio plays Dilla" thing a few years back (on his "In My Element" album.) "Suite for Ma Dukes" name checked above is also fantastic and well worth a listen.

My favourite Dilla tribute is Erykah Badu's "Telephone", which is based on a dream Jay Dee had towards the end, recorded only a day or two after his death.
posted by pascal at 1:44 PM on December 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


the rob glasper tribute was dope

raihan_ if you haven't already watched dabrye at redbull definitely peep it and the moodyman for lulz

"You know why people didn't "ride his dick this hard when [he] was alive" though? It's because the idea of "producer as a celebrity" wasn't a thing at that point. The only people that gave a shit about who produced a track were nerds... who are now very successful nerds. A lot of that changed around the time of Jay-Z's Blueprint records, where producers were starting to get written up on the track lists. The Neptunes were huge beneficiaries of this, as was a much younger, much less cynical Kanye West (And Timbaland, too!)."

I don't agree with this at all. Dilla had major label placement as early as 94-95... You're telling me hiphop heads didn't check production credits until The Blueprint dropped in 01, maybe thats when CMS or RNS started putting produced by in mp3 titles.. But come on man.... I may be bias since I have been "djing" since the early 90s but still.. I knew enough people up on Dilla before he died and I'm up in bum fuck Canada.
posted by 12bits at 2:03 PM on December 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


raihan_: You know why people didn't "ride his dick this hard when [he] was alive" though? It's because the idea of "producer as a celebrity" wasn't a thing at that point. The only people that gave a shit about who produced a track were nerds...

(This Wired article from Sept 2003 also comes to mind.)


I'm one of the nerds who followed producers, but didn't become one. I read the liner notes to see who produced a pop hit when it catches my ear. But it's totally true that my kind of music fan were the exception, not the rule.

Anyway, it seems that appreciation of producers by way of live instrumentation arrangements has escalated in the last few years. For Pete's Sake (live covers of Pete Rock productions) comes to mind, as well as the BADBADNOTGOOD instrumental jazz versions of OFWGKTA beats from earlier this year.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:48 PM on December 21, 2011


Okay, some clarification >>
First, that was only one hypothesis... there are plenty of other reasons out there (I'll explore a couple here). I meant that in terms of expanding the fan base for producers beyond heads (and liner note readers... hey, i was doing that too [still am], not to mention DJs). I think that its only been a recent trend that people listen to stuff based on who produced it, rather than who rapped on it.

re: 12bits, You're right about Dilla's major label placement and (again), I wasn't referring to "heads", but most people. You made an insanely good call by bringing up CMS and RNS, too; the warez "scene" and its near-obsessive attention to detail and information quality definitely had something to do with making these guys' works more accessible and inspiring a lot of other people to hunt down more of their productions (and again, spurring some people to actually start producing!). Within the industry, it always been a "real recognize real" scenario... Dilla definitely built up a strong reputation through his productions; I can start naming rappers whose answer to the question "What makes you happy?" is "listening to a Dilla beat". But I wasn't talking about those people! I was talking about the kids that now pay attention to producers instead of rappers.

And hey... maybe people just didn't "get it" when Dilla was doing it, and that it's only recently reached that critical mass.. people haven't always "studied" hip-hop, yet as FLT notes, in the past couple years, there have been many jazz/classical tributes to the original composers and (instrumental) hip-hop has become a bit more (dare I say) gentrified in terms of people paying homage to the producers and original composers.

(and I was fortunate enough to catch Dabrye do his thing TWICE this year... so good!!!)
posted by raihan_ at 3:47 PM on December 21, 2011


"But I wasn't talking about those people! I was talking about the kids that now pay attention to producers instead of rappers."

fair enough :)
posted by 12bits at 5:17 PM on December 21, 2011


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