Ruff Draft is an album by the late former Slum Village member Jay Dee (also known as J Dilla). It was originally released in February 2003 as an EP, by his then-newly founded label, Mummy Records, and distributed by Groove Attack, a German record label. In 2007, Ruff Draft was remastered and re-released as the third official solo album by Stones Throw Records. The re-release sold 8,049 copies in its first week, J Dilla's largest first-week sales as a solo artist.
The original vinyl release of Ruff Draft is now out-of-print. Although the album is one of Jay Dee's lesser known works, it includes some of his most abstract and experimental work, all self-produced, and recorded in under a week.
As stated in the introduction of the album, it's a noncommercial sounding lo-fi hip hop album, which sees the producer playfully toying with different styles, such as on "Nothing Like This," where his vocals are distorted and skewered over an equally eccentric production featuring a sample played backwards. The result mirrors the more off-center moments on Common's Electric Circus, which Dilla also worked on.
Stones Throw Records re-issued the album on CD and vinyl on March 20, 2007. The re-release is remastered from the original master tapes, with sound engineers taking steps to maintain the original release's integrity, along with additional songs, as well as an instrumental CD.