Leonard Charles - BASEMENT DONUTS - J Dilla tribute

Leonard Charles - BASEMENT DONUTS - J Dilla tribute

  • October 28, 2016


LP released by Hit+Run on colored vinyl.

One thing we'll never get tired of is seeing the way J Dilla's magnum opus Donuts has inspired creativity in others.

The late filmmaker John Hughes (Pretty in Pink, Breakfast Club, Home Alone) isn't the first person you'd think of as a Dilla head, but read what his son wrote in a piece for Grantland after his fathers death in 2009: “When he heard J Dilla’s Donuts, he was awed by the range of samples and promptly began combing music blogs and his own record collection to assemble a series of mix CDs that eventually encapsulated the source of every prominent break — an assignment he surely wouldn’t have engaged in had Dilla been from Duluth and not Detroit.” (Source)

The creativity Dilla and Donuts have inspired is far and wide, but it's easier to point to the direct homages to the album. We know of at least two full-length videos inspired by Donuts, one of which is the awesome, interactive edit by Houston Loves Donuts . There's been too many rappers over these beats to keep track of: Nas, Doom, Common, Drake, and untold others. Just last week artist Kevin Lyons opened a show in Detroit of his 31 painted donuts.

Our friend DJ Mehdi, who passed away in 2011, was among the first to create a whole album inspired by Donuts, his 2006 mixtape Loukoums. The Roots gave the world Dilla Joints. As far away as Pakistan, the band Jaubi covered "Time: Donut of the Heart."

One of the latest is by New Zealand musician Leonard Charles, who recorded his own full-album cover called Basement Donuts. Our friends and frequent collaborators Hit+Run released the album, which is now on vinyl. We have a few copies here.

Here's "Airworks (Forever)" featuring Georgia Anne Muldrow, and a few other tracks from the album.