By special request, Stones Throw has pressed up copies of Dilla's beat sketch masterpiece Donuts with the "smile" cover, originally used for the CD version. Here's our original review from 2006: When Donuts first rolled into the Lab, I gave it a cursory listen and (wanting to get home to the new episode of Lost as quickly as possible) tossed off a pithy little blurb for it. It wasn't until a few days later, when we all heard of Dilla's passing, that I realized how much I really believed in the sentiments I'd written down. Here's the original. R.I.P., Mr. Yancey. You really need to read this? Everyone -- from backpackers to big name producers -- agrees that Dilla is the god, and this new record is only here to confirm what we already knew. Featuring 31 tracks of freshly-minted beats from the master himself, Donuts is a collection of instrumentals that not only manage to sound substantive and complete (despite the fact that they're all under 2 minutes in length) but that also come together to form a cohesive whole. It's a kind of new mission statement for the old dog, and it couldn't have come at a better time.
- music label: Stones Throw 2012