[Reading] ➼ J Dilla's Donuts By Jordan Ferguson – Tkcleaningservices.co.uk

J Dilla's Donuts Hopefully, this will be the first of many books to celebrate and discuss this album.For anyone who is not familiar with who J Dilla is and wishes to start exploring one of the genius hip hop producers of all time, Ferguson s book is a great primer I m always used to reading about music which I did not live at the time it came out so to read this book, for me, was pretty surreal Ferguson does a great job on giving you background on who J Dilla is, where he came from and why his music touched so Hopefully, this will be the first of many books to celebrate and discuss this album.For anyone who is not familiar with who J Dilla is and wishes to start exploring one of the genius hip hop producers of all time, Ferguson s book is a great primer I m always used to reading about music which I did not live at the time it came out so to read this book, for me, was pretty surreal Ferguson does a great job on giving you background on who J Dilla is, where he came from and why his music touched so many As with all works of genius, you will probably learn some new things regarding the making of Donuts Like with all people who are so talented, there s so muchto discuss, but I really do hope this gets the ball rolling forscholarship andin depth info on him.I ve been a big fan of Dilla for a long time, so this for me a great tribute I read this in a couple of hours I couldn t put it down One my favorite from the 33 1 3 series so far I love Donuts I think it s an incredibly inspired and emotional album with sentiment and pure feeling throughout you live the situation Dilla was in through this album.I went into this hoping for background and analysis surrounding the album mostly Whilst a decent portion of the end focuses on Donuts it is mostly about Dilla s trajectory and career as a producer interjected with philosophical quotes by the author sometimes well utilised, often needless.There are lots of interesting quotes I love Donuts I think it s an incredibly inspired and emotional album with sentiment and pure feeling throughout you live the situation Dilla was in through this album.I went into this hoping for background and analysis surrounding the album mostly Whilst a decent portion of the end focuses on Donuts it is mostly about Dilla s trajectory and career as a producer interjected with philosophical quotes by the author sometimes well utilised, often needless.There are lots of interesting quotes from artists and industry people who knew Dilla and were part of his journey Of particular notes are the rare quotes from his mum, Ma Dukes Whilst the book is interesting it didn t focus on Donuts the album as much as I would ve liked for a book supposedly about the album although it makes sense that his story influenced every piece of Donuts The author seems too self indulgent at times, but does offer interesting insights at points From A Los Angeles Hospital Bed, Equipped With Little Than A Laptop And A Stack Of Records, James J Dilla Yancey Crafted A Set Of Tracks That Would Forever Change The Way Beatmakers Viewed Their Artform The Songs On Donuts Are Not Hip Hop Music As Hip Hop Music Is Typically Defined They Careen And Crash Into Each Other, In One Moment Noisy And Abrasive, Gorgeous And Heartbreaking The Next The Samples And Melodies Tell The Story Of A Man Coming To Terms With His Declining Health, A Final Love Letter To The Family And Friends He Was Leaving Behind As A Prolific Producer With A Voracious Appetite For The History And Mechanics Of The Music He Loved, J Dilla Knew The Records That Went Into Constructing Donuts Inside And Out He Could Have Taken Them All And Made A Much Different, Accessible Album If The Widely Accepted View Is That His Final Work Is A Record About Dying, The Question Becomes Why Did He Make This Record About Dying Drawing From Philosophy, Critical Theory And Musicology, As Well As Dilla S Own Musical Catalogue, Jordan Ferguson Shows That The Contradictory, Irascible And Confrontational Music Found On Donuts Is As Much A Result Of An Artist S Declining Health As It Is An Example Of What Scholars Call Late Style, Placing The Album In A Musical Tradition That Stretches Back Centuries An interesting read for any hip hop fan Jordan Ferguson does a good job of recalling the life of arguably the most iconic person in hip hop s most iconic album As a Dilla fan, I appreciate some of the insight on his life and the things that he did for the music industry I d recommend to any audiophile. It was most appropriate reading Jordan Ferguson s Donuts back to back with this series release about Miles Davis Bitches Brew , as both albums deal in part with the cross genre classification of Musique concr te , but obviously from two different and noteworthy angles Donuts became one of my favourite books in this series, but like all musical inclinations, there is probably a very subjective reason for this that at this moment I am unable to explicate beyond saying that I thought Fergus It was most appropriate reading Jordan Ferguson s Donuts back to back with this series release about Miles Davis Bitches Brew , as both albums deal in part with the cross genre classification of Musique concr te , but obviously from two different and noteworthy angles Donuts became one of my favourite books in this series, but like all musical inclinations, there is probably a very subjective reason for this that at this moment I am unable to explicate beyond saying that I thought Ferguson displayed a touching sensitivity to the subject that had him talking to interviewing some of the actual players while also deftly incorporating high theory or intellectual touchstones such as Kubler Ross On Death and Dying.Ferguson also gets down to it by identifying the source material samples for many of the tracks on Donuts while also detailing Jay Dee s unique production methods that set him apart far apart from his competitors In fact, we see that Jay Dee was quite willing to reverse direction, break the inherent rules of Hip Hop sampling and production which, at one point, are nicely laid out by Ferguson , and eventually back off from the mainstream where he was clearly headed with its attendant financial compensations and reattach himself to the underground.The book and Jay Dee s Donuts also carries a heavy dose of melancholy or remorse seeing as it will forever be attached to Dilla s demise his death from a rare blood disease Ferguson even posits the question as to Donuts ultimate value given this unavoidable reference point, but again, the author does this with much sensitivity which at once acknowledges his distance from the original source while nevertheless making it clear that he is deeply influenced by the music Being a Dilla fan for the past 5 years, I found this book whilst looking for memorabilia, a few weeks before Dilla day 2019 Feb 10th.I blitzed through this book in a matter of hours, finding it difficult to put down Jordan Ferguson does Dilla justice with this in depth analysis of Donuts, as well as providing itself as an extended obituary of sorts So much background information of the Detroit music scene, Dilla s rise to one of the hip hops most revered producers, and his close collaboratio Being a Dilla fan for the past 5 years, I found this book whilst looking for memorabilia, a few weeks before Dilla day 2019 Feb 10th.I blitzed through this book in a matter of hours, finding it difficult to put down Jordan Ferguson does Dilla justice with this in depth analysis of Donuts, as well as providing itself as an extended obituary of sorts So much background information of the Detroit music scene, Dilla s rise to one of the hip hops most revered producers, and his close collaborations with Stones Throw and Madlib With exerts from interviews with many close collaborators and members of the music scenes Dilla himself was a part of, this is an intimate look into the life of an artist that has positively impacted so many of us J Dilla changed my life Thank you Jordan Ferguson for doing him justice This is not the book I expected Though, honestly, I don t quite know what I expected.My favorite part about the 33 1 3 series is that each one is so drastically different that it s hard to get a bead on how the series will work.This one focuses quite a bit on the general context and history of the artist J Dilla, aka Jay Dee That, of course, wraps up much of it with the history of modern hip hop, which was perfect for me I recently finished HIP HOP EVOLUTION on Netflix and wished it had ca This is not the book I expected Though, honestly, I don t quite know what I expected.My favorite part about the 33 1 3 series is that each one is so drastically different that it s hard to get a bead on how the series will work.This one focuses quite a bit on the general context and history of the artist J Dilla, aka Jay Dee That, of course, wraps up much of it with the history of modern hip hop, which was perfect for me I recently finished HIP HOP EVOLUTION on Netflix and wished it had carried intomodern times This book seemed to pick up, in many ways, where that series left off I didn t know much about Dilla or this album I d tracked it down and listened to it a few times prior to reading this book, but nothing struck me as amazing or particularly noteworthy However, Fergusson provided the appropriate context and discussed the life of this artist, which truly gave weight to the album itself.That being said, there isn t much about the album itself There are a few references here, and one of the last chapters does a nice job analyzing the mood and style of the various tracks in comparison with Dilla s life So, if there is one complaint, it s that it really isabout the artist than the album Those looking for a huge focus on DONUTS will be disappointed For those like me, though, who didn t know much about J Dilla or, honestly, much about hip hop s recent history this makes for a great read about an extremely talented artist whose life was cut too short somewhat surprisingly, given my propensity towards arcane trivia about the music i love, this is the first 33 1 3 book i ve actually read, despite being aware of the series for some time now the simple, defining factor of the series is that anyone can submit a proposal all you need to show is that you have the knowledge and critical skill to deal with a great piece of music and, obviously, as a result all the books are written by different people all i can say is that if they re all as comp somewhat surprisingly, given my propensity towards arcane trivia about the music i love, this is the first 33 1 3 book i ve actually read, despite being aware of the series for some time now the simple, defining factor of the series is that anyone can submit a proposal all you need to show is that you have the knowledge and critical skill to deal with a great piece of music and, obviously, as a result all the books are written by different people all i can say is that if they re all as comprehensive, well researched and critically intelligent as jordan ferguson s take on dilla, then i need to pick up someof these.the book is nominally about donuts , and whilst ferguson does an excellent analysis of the record itself, examining it as a response to dilla s illness and in the context of his peers, it s just as much a potted history of j dilla and by extension, a brief look at the artists and detroit culture that nurtured him the handling of the musical analysis itself is deft, pithy it would be so easy to slip into purple prose, to make it about ferguson, but he never threatens to cross that line it s tactful and honest.ferguson just absolutely nails it, a perfect balance of meticulous backstory and analysis, acknowledging the fact that the man himself would never look back in this manner, but all the same what if You can learn a bit of history of Detroit hip hop, and a bit about J Dilla s history, but that s about it Most of this book is an exercise in intellectual self gratification, using the Donuts album as fodder Lots of pages that try to draw from philosophy, literature, psychology, and other fields in an attempt to explain Dilla s work The author spends an entire chapter writing about himself, as he tries to justify writing a book like this If you re seeking to learn about J Dilla s approach You can learn a bit of history of Detroit hip hop, and a bit about J Dilla s history, but that s about it Most of this book is an exercise in intellectual self gratification, using the Donuts album as fodder Lots of pages that try to draw from philosophy, literature, psychology, and other fields in an attempt to explain Dilla s work The author spends an entire chapter writing about himself, as he tries to justify writing a book like this If you re seeking to learn about J Dilla s approach to sound and music, I don t recommend reading this book The 33 1 3 books have always struck me as a brilliant idea with somewhat spotty execution The books generally follow the same formula analyzing a seminal album in 100 200 pages of insight, interpretations, and or the historical context of the work Each book is penned by a different author with a different approach, so naturally there is considerable variation in quality As someone who really likes to dig into albums deserving of such mental exertion, I much enjoyed the books where everything The 33 1 3 books have always struck me as a brilliant idea with somewhat spotty execution The books generally follow the same formula analyzing a seminal album in 100 200 pages of insight, interpretations, and or the historical context of the work Each book is penned by a different author with a different approach, so naturally there is considerable variation in quality As someone who really likes to dig into albums deserving of such mental exertion, I much enjoyed the books where everything works like Ben Sisario s excellent take on Doolittle and was considerably disappointed by some of theneedlessly abstruse OK Computer or autobiographical Wowee Zowee installments Thankfully, Toronto freelance journalist Jordan Ferguson s examination of J Dilla s 2006 album Donuts is a well organized and illuminating read on one of the best instrumental hip hop albums ever.Donuts is a scattershot collection of beats that jumps from one idea to the next and pulls the rug out from the listener just when they are getting comfortable It makes for a great listen, but thankfully Donuts the book is comprehensive and fully developed Ferguson follows the popular 33 1 3 format of beginning with historical background and the artist s career progression leading up to the album before delving into its actual content Much of the first half of the book consists of an extended biography of Dilla and his development as an artist The book draws from a wide array of interviews, articles, videos, and other sources on Dilla as well as the history of the Detroit music scene The strongest point of Donuts is Ferguson s comprehensive research Dilla fans may already be familiar with some of the anecdotes and interviews referenced in Donuts which is to be expected to some extent , but there is likely quite a bit of new material unless you have seen every YouTube video, Frank N Dank DVD extra, and read every random article on Dilla The book greatly benefits from the fact that Dilla and his mother, who is also featured prominently was very revealing and engaging in his interviews He goes into considerable detail on his craft, philosophy, and his personal history and artistic evolution Ferguson also conducted some original interviews while writing the book He got time with Eothen Egon Alapatt, the former general manager of Stones Throw Records who was instrumental in releasing Donuts as well as Stones Throw art director Jeff Jank These provide additional insight into Dilla s personality and how Donuts came together.Ferguson focuses on the album in the latter third of the book He is a very attentive listener, pointing out small yet important details of the album I ve listened to the album countless times and I never realized that while the album concludes with a reprise of the introduction, there is a stutter that causes a jerky transition between the two Fergsuon goes on to explain how this plays into Dilla s affinity for samples with mistakes in them Many hip hop reviews turn into extended lists of sample sources possibly to flex their sampling knowledge muscles Googling proficiency, and this risk is clearly elevated when dealing with an instrumental album like Donuts There is a point to every sample Ferguson points out, whether it is to highlight Dilla s eclectic I had no idea he was a Stereolab fan musical tastes or his knack for seamlessly integrating disparate sources into his beats While Ferguson rightfully heaps Dilla with a ton of much deserved praise, especially with his gift for rhythm and drum programming, need for constant innovation, and disregard for the conventional rules of hip hop production, Ferguson never enters mindless fawning territory, another common misstep in 33 1 3 books He is refreshingly even handed throughout, noting also much deserved critical swipes at his rapping ability and some weaker moments in his discography Ferguson s passion for his subject is evident throughout and he is clearly very knowledgeable about sampling and hip hop music in general.In SumDonuts is definitely one of my favorite entries in the 33 1 3 series and is a worthwhile read for any fan of the album There are a few brief passages where Ferguson rambles a bit on critical theory but in general he held my interest throughout and offered a hefty bit of background on andreasons to appreciate one of my favorite albums of the last decade.8 10


About the Author: Jordan Ferguson

Jordan Ferguson is a freelance culture writer He is the author of the bestselling 33 1 3 Album Guide on J Dilla s Donuts , an animated manga for the Red Bull Music Academy with Yuko Ichijo and contributes regularly to The Same Page.Originally from Windsor, Ontario, he currently lives and works in Toronto.


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