Donuts (Smile Cover)
One of the best hip hop albums ever made.
Donuts is accessible without being typical or easily defined: it's hip hop without MCs; electronic music that at times sounds like a 70s soul mixtape; J Dilla doing what he does best - crafting hip-hop, soul and electronic music into his own sound. You might not have heard of J Dilla, but you know his sound. He produced classics for A Tribe Called Quest, Pharcyde, Janet Jackson, Busta Rhymes, Q Tip, Common (including two tracks on Be, and the whole preceding album), and was a founder member and driving force behind Slum Village. Add to that a slew of classic remixes (D'Angelo); his incredible Jaylibalbum with Madlib and the prolific underground trading of his legendary beat-tapes, and you've got the story of a hip hop legend. RIP J Dilla.