J Dilla aka Jay Dee - The Ruff Draft (Hip Hop Album Review)

J Dilla aka Jay Dee – Ruff Draft (Album Review)

Label: Stones Throw

by: Neil McCullough


J Dilla - Ruff Draft

Stones Throw decided to mark the 1st anniversary of J Dilla’s passing by re-releasing a rare, hard to find Vinyl only EP, which he originally released in tiny quantities on his own Mummy Records in 2003. This is an extensive re-issue all the tracks from the original EP are included. There are a couple of bonus tracks from the sessions, which didn’t make the original release, a couple of alternate tracks, a second CD with the instrumental versions and comprehensive liner notes.

This album is short, clocking in at a little over 28 minutes, but it’s high on quality. It contains no filler that dogs so many hip hop releases and is as un-commercialised as it gets in Hip Hop. Pop this CD in the stereo and you’re in for a quick exhilarating ride of heavy underground beats, which as Dilla says in the intro Sound like it’s straight from the ma’fuckin’ cassette!

J Dilla

These recordings indicated a marked change in some of Dillas production, implementing a much tougher, more abstract and experimental sound than his earlier work which would later surface on albums such as Jaylib’s Champion Sound (with Madlib) and The Shining. But don’t let the words ‘abstract’ and ‘experimental’ put you off, the tunes on here are bangin’, funky, dirty and are sure to get your head noddin’, as the title says it’s ‘Ruff’.

This release is essential for any Dilla fans collection and if you’re into raw and heavy hip hop beats then it should be right up your street too. The only problem is the length, at the end you just want more, but just hit the play button again and start it again from the beginning you won’t be disappointed!

Stand out tracks: Let’s Take It Back, Nothing like This, The $, Make ‘em NV.

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