In addition to the aforementioned lines, there is also an eerie voice present at the end of some songs saying what sounds like “Sure, it strains...” It appears at the end of “Glazed,” for example and you wonder if it represent Dilla working through his illness in the last years of his life. The final message, though, may be in the fact that the first song is “Donuts (Outro)” and that the last song is “Welcome To The Show.” The end is not an ending but a new beginning.
As someone who first listened to this album after J. Dilla's death, I must say that Donuts really makes you miss him. There is more depth and variety on this one disc than in some hip-hop producers' whole careers. It feels hands-on, almost like Dilla jumped directly into his music and molded it like a sculptor. You don't just hear a producer/artist at the top of his game, you hear one that could have gone even higher. He probably had it in him to create the next great hip-hop masterpiece. Donuts may not be that masterpiece, but it comes very, very close.
It's a testament to Dilla's legacy that various artists have used the beats from Donuts. “Hi” and “One For Ghost” appeared as “Beauty Jackson” and “Whip You With A Strap” on Ghostface Killah's album Fishscale. “Time: The Donut Of The Heart” became “Can't Stop This,” a tribute to J. Dilla by The Roots on their album Game Theory. “Bye” became “So Far To Go” featuring Common and D'Angelo on J. Dilla's posthumously released album The Shining. Busta Rhymes and Rah Digga also used tracks that appeared on Donuts for songs of their own.
Even though one year has passed since its release, Donuts has not lost any of its power. In fact, it gets better and better with each listen. New things catch your attention even after the tenth or twelfth listen. Any fan of good music whether hip-hop or otherwise should check out this album. I cannot recommend it enough.