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J DIlla – Ruff Draft – Dilla’s Mix

Dilla’s recently discovered original mixes for his lauded 2003 EP Ruff Draft; expanded into an album. LP 1 features the original Ruff Draft EP; LP 2 features Dilla’s alternate sequence. Includes download card for WAV files and expansive book detailing the story behind the album. CD contains bonus instrumental disc.

RAPPCATS EXCLUSIVE– smoke grey colored vinyl. LIMITED RUN, not to be repressed.

When Ruff Draft saw its initial release in 2003, J Dilla possessed production skills on par with anyone in hip-hop – technically and creatively. “At the top of his game,” says longtime friend and collaborator, Karriem Riggins. After years of building while modestly deferring to others of both greater and lesser notoriety, Dilla finally completed the first solo endeavor on his own label, entirely on his own terms.

The project would go on to spur his collaborative album with Madlib – Jaylib’s Champion Sound – and would first showcase the template that he would take to his greatest heights with 2006’s Donuts. This definitive reissue of Ruff Draft takes Dilla’s recently discovered mixes of the album – only ever issued on the rare, original vinyl EP – and restores his vision for the project… “straight from the mothafuckin’ cassette,” as he phrased the sound he was going for on the EP’s intro.

LP 1 presents Dilla’s EP as it was originally released, LP 2 presents the alternate sequence that Dilla had for the project, with tracks unissued in 2003. Cassette presents Dilla’s EP on side 1 and his alternate sequence on side 2. 2CD comes with both sequences on disc 1, with bonus instrumental disc. Author Ronnie Reese details Dilla’s story in a booklet complete with never before published photographs from the Ruff Draft photo session by Dilla collaborator Waajeed. (Note: booklet only comes in LP and CD formats.)

Ruff Draft, like 2016’s The Diary, sees release on the Pay Jay, the official imprint of the Estate of James Yancey, founded on behalf of Maureen “Ma Dukes” Yancey, John “Illa J” Yancey, Monica and Ty-monae Whitlow, Joylette Hunter and Ja’mya Yancey.