24 Songs, 53 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Detroit’s own J. Dilla has been elevated to the status of beat-making godhead in the year since his passing. Yet amidst all the tales surrounding the wildly prolific producer’s sick-bed spawned masterpiece Donuts and his Madlib assisted underground comeback Champion Sound, Dilla’s slick yet slightly off kilter productions of the mid and late ‘90s were once viewed with a mixture of scorn and confusion by the Hip-hop cognoscenti, who accused him of suffocating Tribe Called Quest’s spare boom-bap beneath unnecessarily baroque production. Though these criticisms now seem shortsighted, they inspired a ferocious response from Dilla in the form of Ruff Draft, a scruffy, fiercely insular statement of purpose from an artist who refused to be cowed by naysayers. Detroit MCs like Frank & Dank, Guilty Simpson and Lil’ Bit make some memorable guest appearances but the focus here remains firmly on Dilla’s beats. An otherworldly fusion of genres with a hip-hop soul and an icy electro heartbeat, Ruff Draft is a purposely disjointed collage of pilfered soul loops and metronome steady drumbeats whose beautifully low-fi sound resembles little else in Dilla’s catalogue.

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Detroit’s own J. Dilla has been elevated to the status of beat-making godhead in the year since his passing. Yet amidst all the tales surrounding the wildly prolific producer’s sick-bed spawned masterpiece Donuts and his Madlib assisted underground comeback Champion Sound, Dilla’s slick yet slightly off kilter productions of the mid and late ‘90s were once viewed with a mixture of scorn and confusion by the Hip-hop cognoscenti, who accused him of suffocating Tribe Called Quest’s spare boom-bap beneath unnecessarily baroque production. Though these criticisms now seem shortsighted, they inspired a ferocious response from Dilla in the form of Ruff Draft, a scruffy, fiercely insular statement of purpose from an artist who refused to be cowed by naysayers. Detroit MCs like Frank & Dank, Guilty Simpson and Lil’ Bit make some memorable guest appearances but the focus here remains firmly on Dilla’s beats. An otherworldly fusion of genres with a hip-hop soul and an icy electro heartbeat, Ruff Draft is a purposely disjointed collage of pilfered soul loops and metronome steady drumbeats whose beautifully low-fi sound resembles little else in Dilla’s catalogue.

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics.
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Ratings and Reviews

4.7 out of 5
83 Ratings

83 Ratings

spinvinyl ,

This is Hip Hop?! Naw playa this is Music.

everybody seems to be looking for Hip Hop's obituary... can't say i found that joint yet but i did run across this birth announcement  for music! they named him Ruff Draft. his daddy's name is Dilla. it's really hood to see life finds a way even when death has had it's say.

live on dilla. live on.

da_abstract_1 ,

this must be it

i've been a fan of dilla since vol 1, and i can normally spot his beats when he does behind the scenes stuff (like that janet jackson and q tip song-for which he gets no credits for). he did it for the love. No producer to date or ever will be able to make a beat as funky as dillas. he takes sycopations and silence between beats to an unearthly place of funk. reminiscent of thelonius monk, you dont know where his next beat is coming from or it will be on time. this album is awe inspiring, but his duty is done and he has moved on but thanks and r.i.p. dilla

Ltrain329 ,

Dilla Evolved

For those who started their Dilla experience with Donuts and The Shining, this is the beginning of his evolution in this phase as a producer. Although he was taken too soon, with so many years in the game, you see that he had so much talent and reinvented so many genres many times. This man even sampled bossa nova first! This is the underappreciated ep that only real dilla fans knew of before the release. Dilla Lives.

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