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Background on J Dilla & Ruff Draft Let me explain it. It's Ruff Draft. For my real niggaz only. DJs that play that real live shit. You wanna bounce in your whip, sound like it's straight from the ma'fuckin' cassette! Ruff Draft... Let's do it.... Thus begins Ruff Draft. Released only on vinyl in February 2003 with European distribution, this sought-after album remains the elusive key release in J Dilla's catalog. Ruff Draft would later prove a turning point in Dilla's career. He spent the '90s making a name for himself as an all-around, top-notch hip-hop producer for A Tribe Called Quest, Common and De La Soul, eventually branching out to work with a variety of heavy-hitters in hip-hop and R&B, including Busta Rhymes, The Roots and Erykah Badu.In contrast to the understated, mellow vibes and minimal, crisp drumbeats he brought to these groups, Ruff Draft fi rst revealed a whole new side to Dilla's musical genius. Freewheeling, in-your-face synthesizers, and an uncharacteristically sample-heavy approach that was as bangin' as it was experimental. After Ruff Draft's limited release, Dilla relocated from Detroit to Los Angeles where he would continue working on tracks for Common's Be (Geffen, 2005), Ghostface Killah's Fishscale (Def Jam, 2006), Busta Rhyme's Big Bang (Aftermath, 2006), and his own material - all of this while dealing with a life threatening illness that was unknown outside his immediate circle.
When he was known as Jay Dee in the late 1990s and early 2000s, James D. Yancey was busy crafting loping, laid-back, soulful beats for progressive hip-hoppers such as A Tribe Called Quest, Common, De La Soul, and the Pharcyde--and becoming a highly prized rap and neo-soul producer. In 2002 and 2003, following a stint with his Detroit high-school buddies in Slum Village and a stillborn solo career with MCA, Yancey entered a major transitional phase. He began referring to himself as J Dilla, moved to southern California, embraced the indie scene, and started to take a more experimental approach to his productions. The decidedly lo-fi Ruff Draft signaled the beginning of this new period (even though it was the last album released under the Jay Dee name). Layering creepy and bizarre effects atop his hypnotic grooves, Dilla expanded the sonic parameters of his craft, texturing the music with eerie synthesizer bleeps, distorted samples, and lurching rhythms. Dilla tossed off this quick project for his own listening pleasure, but the obscure, forward-looking EP--released on 12" vinyl by German label Groove Attack in February of 2003--became something of a collector's item. The 2007 Stones Throw reissue adds a few bonus tracks and a second all-instrumental CD to this pivotal work by the late hip-hop innovator. --Marc GreilsamerSee all Editorial Reviews
DILLA DILLA DILLA BEAT BEATS BEATS!
This is my favorite Dilla project, where I can throw it on and not have to worry about leaving it on loop all day. Read more
RIP. Dilla was an amazing producer. His beats are great, the lyrics are good and Dilla's flow is alright. Read morePublished on September 27, 2012 by B. Miller
Great album from James Yancey. I love all the tracks. If you love Jay Dee like I do, COP THIS!!!Published on August 3, 2010 by T. B. Motlhabane
Just bought this album a few weeks ago and haven't stopped listening to it. Thanks amazon.Published on July 4, 2010 by Dilla fan
Ha, man, I've been randomly reading reviews and people AMAZE me. this is album is NO WHERE comparable to Champion Sound. 1. Madlib lacks & lags in comparison to Dilla, LYRICALLY. Read morePublished on August 14, 2008 by Fabian Bell
ANYONE WHO LOOPS M.O.P's VOICES ON "MAKE'EM" FROM THEIR SMASH HIT "ANTE UP". GOT TO BE RUFF AND RUGGED.Published on May 25, 2008 by BILAL-FAHEEM ALLAH
I got the album about 3 months ago. Honestly my first impression was not good but the album steadily grew on me. Read morePublished on June 28, 2007 by Music Man
the whole cd was pretty bomb
my favorites tracks on it were "nothing like this", "crushinn YEAAA", "wild", and "take notice"
this cd is a... Read more