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Ruff Draft

Jay Dee, J DillaAudio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

Price: $13.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 24 Songs, 2007 $20.99  
Audio CD, 2007 $13.99  
Vinyl, 2012 $15.53  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Disc 1:

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Intro [Explicit]0:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Let's Take It Back [Explicit] 2:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Reckless Driving [Explicit] 2:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Nothing Like This [Explicit] 2:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. The $ [Explicit] 2:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Interlude [Explicit]0:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Make'em NV [Explicit] 2:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Interlude [Explicit]0:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Crushin' (Yeeeeaah!) [Explicit] 3:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Shouts [Explicit]0:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Intro (Alt) [Explicit]0:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Wild [Explicit] 2:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Take Notice [Explicit] 4:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Shouts (Alt) [Explicit] 1:47$0.99  Buy MP3 

Disc 2:

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Let's Take It Back - Inst. [Explicit] 2:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Reckless Drving - Inst. [Explicit] 2:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Nothing Like This - Inst. [Explicit] 2:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. The $ - Inst. [Explicit] 2:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Make'em NV - Inst. [Explicit] 2:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Crushin' - Inst. [Explicit] 3:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Intro - Inst. (Alt) [Explicit]0:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Wild - Inst. [Explicit] 2:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Take Notice - Inst. [Explicit] 4:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Shouts - Inst. (Alt) [Explicit] 1:47$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 20, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: 2007
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Stones Throw
  • ASIN: B000MCH5NG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,010 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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 Greilsamer

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Dope, not his best work though. A lot of the Stones Throw/bandwagon Dilla fans say it's this AMAZING classic gem. It's dope... but not that dope. The one really cool thing that this EP does is bridge Welcome 2 Detroit to Champion Sound. It really helps put the dots together as in his progress and movement with his production style.

Although in my opinion this release isn't his best work, I highly suggest checking it out. It's some dope ish you can just pop in the jeep and ride to. (in the same vein as Sittin' On Chrome)

Choice cuts

Make 'EM NV

The $


Nothing Like This (which was also released on Chrome Children)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sick. March 20, 2007
Format:Audio CD
This truely is a great album. J Dilla is brilliant, easily one of the top hip-hop producers of all time. Many consider him a "horrible rapper," which isn't true. His production just outshines his lyrical style. This album is raw, and blissful. To put his albums (Stones Throw) in perspective...

Ruff Draft - Raw, street-influenced, yet blissful.

The Shining - Entirely about love, and does it oh so well.

Donuts - Masterpiece. Beautiful. You can feel the last words of a dying man on a 31-track instrumental album. Amazing.

This album isn't as good as Donuts, but compete with The Shining. A must for any hardcore Dilla fan.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh Yeah March 31, 2007
Format:Audio CD
The great thing about this album is Stones Throw released the instrumentals along with the CD. I gotta appreciate that, cause that didn't happen with The Shining.

Not everything on this one's classic, but it's J Dilla, and anything else we get from his mastermind is more than worth it. Just listen to "Let's Take it Back," "Nothing Like This," "The $," "Make'em Nv, "Crushin' (Yeeeeaah!)," "Wild," and "Take Notice." Not only was Dilla the best producer, but one of the better Detroit MCs. It's a priviledge that this album got released to the masses with extra tracks and instrumentals to boot. It's a must not just for hip hop fans, but for fans of true music period. Get two, one for the house and one for the car. You're gonna need it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I know I can't legally call Dilla "overrated," so... March 13, 2008
Format:Audio CD
This disc is a bit of an anomaly, because while Dilla may have been known for his beats, his rhymes went mostly under-appreciated through the majority of his life. So here, in these 20+ minutes (15+ w/o the bonus songs or 40+ w/ the instrumental disc) we get to hear the producer covering all bases, with only one brief guest spot from Guilty Simpson on one of the bonus songs. I'm not a Dilla obsessed dude, but once I heard "Nothing Like This" I was totally blown away. It sounds more like dreamy indie-pop than anything I ever heard from him, but the rest of the songs are more traditional. While the production feels perfectly in tune with that Madlib and MF Doom type sound (respectively), and most of his vocals are just shouts through echo effects in the background, he also steps into the spotlight and drops many verses and hooks in a style kind of like a mellower Malik B (the other emcee from The Roots). I'll admit from the get go that I'm more on the backpacker side of this sound, but this release straddles the line in a way that excites me way more than most of the painfully safe stuff to come out of the Native Tongue clique in recent years. I'm sure some of this will be off-putting for purists of political correctness, but Dilla somehow seems to have remained near the pulse even past the grave, as seen in the rough edge he added to his neo-soul sound on this release. I would give the short EP itself a 7/10, but with the addition of the instrumental bonus disc it's easy to give it a higher score. 8/10
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What's the definition of RAW March 21, 2007
Format:Audio CD
I first copped the orignal album via the boot-leg circuit(now I have a real legit copy!!! Thanks ST!). What I love about this album is that it was Dilla in his rawest form. Let's take it back just took the album there for me. For me the album brought me back the days of DITC and the living legend Pete Rock. But the true innovation of this piece was Nothing Like This.... just ill. It drives home why so many people loved (and will continue) Dilla's music... while he was never on no corniess...he wasn't afraid to take it there it was the prelude to one my favorite albums of all time ...Electric Circus... thank Stones Throw for reissuing this. Let's hope that somehow we can get the MCA shelved project (48 Hrs) finally release!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Just copped this cd and I have to say its bangin. The beats are real hard and the album has a real nice flow to it. I cant think of one track that i skip over. I really liked donuts and welcome 2 detroit and this is simply another great dilla album. I am feeling his flow on this too-some people aren't and thats cool. And if you happen to just want to bump the raw beats your in luck my friend cuz stones throw got you covered with that instrumental cd included too. Bravo. Isn't it refreshing when you buy an album and you just love the whole thing? Not an eveyday thing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THERE IS NOTHING LIKE THIS!! September 20, 2007
Format:Audio CD
That's what I keep saying to myself when I listen to a producer so talented as Dilla, and turn on BET and see how hip hop has taken a plummet down the drain. Here we have another Dilla project that was produced by the late great five years ago, and now revised and polished so we can enjoy "that real shhh" that he keeps on bringing. In this record we see more polished lyrics (which was a big suprise) by Dilla and though he still might rap about being icey like on the head knocking "The $", he still manages not to go over board and get too braggy. There were some more highlights in the album like "Make'em NV" which features a hardcore sample from M.O.P. he gives you lessons on living with high priced fame, but at the same time not putting your guard's down on the street. "Let's take it Back", "Reckless Driveing", the Outkastish sounding "Nothing Like This", and lyrically polished "Take Notice" feat. underated lyristist Guilty Simpson display that hardcore Detroit sound that is destined to keep your head bouncing to the beat. "Crushin" was, however, kinda goofy with Dilla trying to make a song for the strip clubs. Though "Wild" start off pretty creative, you get lost in its countless amount of drums used and kinda ruins the natural feel of the song.

This is a must cop for hip hop and Dilla fans. The album was however a tad bit too short. "Shouts" could have been made into a real song instead of a outro sounding shout out. This album sadly left me wanting to here more from Dilla. All in all, this will be a nice addition to anybodies musical library and is worth checking out. You can also vibe to the bonus instrumentals of all the songs which is a huge plus for those who just want to contemplate and nod your heads to something in your spear time.

4 1/2 stars. Dilla with another timeless masterpiece.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews

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
Published 17 days ago by Enig Mue
4.0 out of 5 stars It's tough to find better beats anywhere.
RIP. Dilla was an amazing producer. His beats are great, the lyrics are good and Dilla's flow is alright. Read more
Published on September 27, 2012 by B. Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars R.I.P. J. Dilla
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the money
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Are You Serious?!
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 more
Published on August 14, 2008 by Fabian Bell
5.0 out of 5 stars RUFF AND RUGGED
Published on May 25, 2008 by BILAL-FAHEEM ALLAH
4.0 out of 5 stars Dilla Always!
I got the album about 3 months ago. Honestly my first impression was not good but the album steadily grew on me. Read more
Published on June 28, 2007 by Music Man
4.0 out of 5 stars gooodness 2 the max

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
Published on May 6, 2007 by Luis Alvarez
4.0 out of 5 stars Dilla is that dude
Being from Detroit I would support anything that Dilla does. My favorite track is "The $", that track shows J can spit better than most of the cats out right now. Read more
Published on April 29, 2007 by Leandre S. Anthony
4.0 out of 5 stars Takin' It Back To The Basement {4 Stars}
While I totally agree with D. Thomas' review, I think a 3 star rating is totally accurate when graded in comparison to other J. Read more
Published on April 5, 2007 by Norfeest
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