Behind The Smile :: J Dilla’s Donuts

There’s a beautiful story behind the late great J DIlla‘s album cover photography. Video director Andrew Gura tells the full story here, but the long and short of it is that Stones Throw Art Director guru Jeff Jank needed photography for the 2006 Donut’s EP. J Dilla was in no position to provide any due his ailing health, and that’s where Gura’s video-shoot offcuts came in.

Gura provided 3 stills from that shoot for possible inclusion on the cover. In turn, what at first might look like a generic shoot spawned what even J Dilla’s mother considered to be the perfect encapsulation of her son’s spirit.

Behind the smile lies a beautiful story indeed.

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