On the one hand, starting your own record label is likely a more difficult and complicated endeavor than most people think. On the other hand, it seems like everyone and their mother is doing it… literally. AllHipHop got the scoop on this initially: the mother of late producer J Dilla, Maureen “Ma Dukes” Yancey, has started her own record label, Ruff Draft Records, almost exclusively dedicated to outing previously unreleased J Dilla material. The label, named for the 2003 J Dilla EP, will also feature music from aspirational young artists, who might otherwise find themselves pursuing less ethical hobbies, like brostep production.
Ms. Yancey relates, “We want to make it more feasible to interact with these children; we don’t know how many J. Dilla’s we have out there. Somebody has to find them.” More to the point, however, the label is a natural consequence of Ma Dukes recently assuming possession of hundreds of lost tapes left in storage by her late son.
Ruff Draft held their launch party last Friday in Detroit, where they also highlighted the label’s first release, Rebirth of Detroit by… I’m drawing a blank here. The album is due out June 12, and pairs unreleased Dilla beats with predominately Detroit-based rappers. You can preorder it on CD here (and a promo 10-inch with tracks feat. Danny Brown and Guilty Simpson here), or just watch the trailer below.