Ruff Draft

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Ruff Draft
Ruff draft.jpg
Studio album / EP by Jay Dee
Released February 25, 2003 (Original)
March 20, 2007 (Re-issue)
Genre Hip hop
Length 25:57
Label Mummy Records / Stones Throw Records
Producer Jay Dee
Jay Dee chronology
Vol. 2: Vintage
Ruff Draft
Champion Sound
Reissue album jacket
The front cover of the Stones Throw re-release
The front cover of the Stones Throw re-release
Jay Dee chronology
The Shining
(2006) The Shining2006
Ruff Draft
(2007) Ruff Draft2007
Jay Love Japan
(2007) Jay Love Japan2007
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
Allmusic4/5 stars[2]
HipHopDX4/5 stars[3]
No Ripcord9/10[4]
Slant Magazine3.5/5 stars[5]
MusicOMH3/5 stars[7]

Ruff Draft is a studio album and EP by American recording artist J Dilla released under the moniker "Jay Dee". 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 extended, remastered, and posthumously re-released as a "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.[8]


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.


  • Ruff Draft was released after the artist began using the name J Dilla but the cover still lists 'Jay Dee'.
  • It is also the first release to bear the name 'Jaylib' (in the liner notes); J Dilla and Madlib's group which would not debut until a few months after the release of Ruff Draft.
  • Jaylib's "Ice" contains lyrics heard in the final seconds of the Ruff Draft track "Make'em NV".
  • J Dilla went on a short promotional tour in 2003, performing DJ sets with Dank of Frank-N-Dank following the release of Ruff Draft:
    • Jan. 15th — Helsinki FIN at Kerma Club
    • Jan. 17th — Eindhoven, NL at Effenaar
    • Jan. 18th — Bienne, SWI at La Coupole
    • Jan. 19th — Paris, FR at Divan du Monde
    • Jan. 24th — Gothenburg, SWD
    • Jan. 25th — Malmo, SWD at Inkonst Quality
    • Jan. 26th — Stockholm, SWD at Mosebacke Est.

Track listing[edit]

Original 2003 EP Release[edit]

  1. "Intro"
  2. "Let's Take It Back"
  3. "Reckless Driving"
  4. "Nothing Like This"
  5. "The $"
  6. "Interlude"
  7. "Make'em NV"
  8. "Interlude"
  9. "Crushin' (Yeeeeaah!)"
  10. "Shouts"

Reissue (2007)[edit]

Disc 1[edit]

# Title Length
1 "Intro" 0:17
2 "Let's Take It Back" 2:10
3 "Reckless Driving" 2:41
4 "Nothing Like This" 2:33
5 "The $" 2:43
6 "Interlude" 0:49
7 "Make'em NV" 2:25
8 "Interlude" 0:45
9 "Crushin' (Yeeeeaah!)" 3:43
10 "Shouts" 0:51
11 "Intro (Alt.)" 0:48
12 "Wild" 2:19
13 "Take Notice (Feat. Guilty Simpson)" 4:25
14 "Shouts (Alt.)" 1:47

Disc 2[edit]

# Title Length
1 "Let's Take It Back Instrumental" 2:06
2 "Reckless Driving Instrumental" 2:41
3 "Nothing Like This Instrumental" 2:33
4 "The $ Instrumental" 2:45
5 "Make'em NV Instrumental" 2:24
6 "Crushin' Instrumental" 3:41
7 "Intro (Alt.) Instrumental" 0:46
8 "Wild Instrumental" 2:21
9 "Take Notice Instrumental" 4:26
10 "Shouts (Alt.) Instrumental" 1:47

Samples Used[edit]

  • "Lets Take It Back" contains interpolated lyrics from "Verses From the Abstract" by A Tribe Called Quest and samples of "Pause" by Jay Dee (featuring Frank-N-Dank)
  • "Reckless Driving" contains interpolated lyrics from "What?" by A Tribe Called Quest and samples of "Pause" by Jay Dee
  • "The $" contains interpolated lyrics from "Paid In Full" by Eric B & Rakim and samples of "Dooinit" by Common , "Pause" by Jay Dee and "Escape (I Need A Break)" by Whodini
  • "Make 'Em NV" contains samples of "La Rotta" by John Renbourn and "Ante Up" by M.O.P.
  • "Crushin'" contains samples of "Sweet Stuff" by Sylvia Robinson
  • "Intro (Alt.)" contains samples of "Hold You Close" by P'taah
  • "Wild" contains samples of "Cum On Feel the Noize" by Neil Innes & Son
  • "Take Notice" contains samples of "Soul Love" by David Bowie and "Phase By Phase" by Peter Baumann


  1. ^ "Ruff Draft Reviews". Retrieved 2014-02-21. 
  2. ^ Allmusic review
  3. ^ Honigman, Daniel (2007-03-24). "J Dilla - Ruff Draft". Retrieved 2014-02-21. 
  4. ^ Coleman, David (2007-03-24). No Ripcord review "J Dilla: Ruff Draft" Check |url= value (help). Retrieved 2014-02-21. 
  5. ^ Newlin, Jimmy (2007-03-18). "J Dilla: Ruff Draft". Retrieved 2014-02-21. 
  6. ^ Patrin, Nate (2007-03-27). "J Dilla: Ruff Draft". Retrieved 2014-02-21. 
  7. ^ Lee, Darren (2007-03-19). "J Dilla - Ruff Draft". Retrieved 2014-02-21. 
  8. ^ "UC - Top Album Sales ANALYSIS - 28 March 2007". Archived from the original on 7 February 2012. Retrieved 2014-02-20. 

External links[edit]