We first got turned on to Donny Hathaway by reading the liner notes for The Chronic. We were amazed by how many of the samples were copped from Extension of a Man, and so we saved up some hard-earned cash to buy the album. It’s since become one of our favorites, a platter we’ve spun on countless occasions when we require sonic escape.
There’s no telling where Hathaway’s career might have taken him if he’d been born, say, a decade later. But during his early ’70s heyday, medical science just didn’t have the means to deal with his paranoid schizophrenia—the disease that ultimately led him to take his own life in spectacular fashion.