What a line up! Few artists are as controversial as they are influential, but New York legend R.A. the Rugged Man has lived up to that by simultaneously inspiring generations of rappers while being banned from every major record label’s offices and even barred from performing during the late-90s underground explosion.
By combining the authenticity of his undeniably rugged life with undisputed mic skills and his understanding of the genre as a Hip-Hop historian, his music has both survived and thrived, setting a standard for “Real MCs” that few have ever attempted to match.
Originally from a broken home in Long Island’s Suffolk County, R.A. was raised by a Vietnam veteran/mental patient father whose exposure to Agent Orange left his brother Maxx physically and visually impaired and his sister Dee Ann unable to walk or speak. Finding refuge in Hip-Hop, R.A. began his whirlwind rap career at the age of 12. A constantly rising profile caught the attention of the majors and R.A. found himself at the center of a nine-label bidding war. While he eventually signed with Jive, his vile behavior proved too much for the label to handle as they left him to die without an album in stores to his name.
Taking matters into his own hands, R.A. pioneered the truly independent indie-rap hustle, pressing his own vinyl singles and racking up one of the most impressive resumes in Rap history. From Wu-Tang and Mobb Deep to Biggie and Kool G. Rap, not to mention productions from Erick Sermon, DJ Quik and The Alchemist, his discography reads like a Hip-Hop Hall of Fame.
Now, the onetime outcast has improbably outlasted nearly all of his peers. Having been banned, forgotten, blackballed, and left for dead, the Rugged Man has somehow emerged with a thriving career, a nonstop touring schedule, a die-hard fan base, and the recently-released Legends Never Die, one of the most critically acclaimed hip hop albums in years. Featuring A-list guests like Tech N9ne, Hopsin, Talib Kweli, Brother Ali, Krizz Kaliko, Vinnie Paz, Masta Ace, Sadat X, Eamon, and more, Legends Never Die is being touted as a classic worldwide, balancing technically brilliant lyricism with raw honesty and head-nodding production.
The album is not only a celebration of R.A.’s illustrious career, but an exciting look at what’s still to come. “Honestly, I feel like this is only the beginning,” says R.A. One of the most fascinating figures in hip-hop history is just getting started.
For more information and tickets, head to http://www.fibbers.co.uk