Stones Throw continues its J Dilla memorial project by releasing this, a previously little-known vinyl-only album that Dilla put out in 2003 on his own label. On it, you can begin to hear the blossoming of the sound that would make up both Champion Sound (his collaboration with Jaylib) and 2006's Donuts: a ruffer, more grab-bag approach to production. Before, Dilla had catered to rappers that flowed over his work (including hip-hop luminaries such as A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul); Ruff Draft is Dilla finally making something for himself. As such, we get a variety of treasures, including (but not limited to) subaquatic hair metal (“Nothing Like This”), Dr. Who keyboards (“Interlude”) and incidental music for ’70s cop shows (“Take Notice”).
By Richard Gehr on 11.06.14 in Features
The son of cult members seeks a peaceful future in his music.
By Claire Lobenfeld on 10.07.14 in News
San Francisco electronic-soul purveyor Brogan Bentley is gearing up to release his brooding debut full-length The Snake (November 11, Leaving Records/Stones Throw) and the hypnotic "Smoke" is one of our first tastes of w...
By Nate Patrin on 08.26.14 in Reviews
Ringgo Ancheta is all about balance. As Mndsgn, he's been putting out enigmatic beat tapes for years, smothering loping breaks under a humid atmosphere that accommodate both rust and greenery alike. No wonder he gravitat...
By Nate Patrin on 05.27.14 in Reviews
It's one of the biggest what-ifs in underground hip-hop: What if Charizma, the young, slick MC with the command and bravado of prime LL, hadn't been murdered a week before Christmas '93? Would his production partner, Pea...