Venues Can't Serve Alcohol To Women With No Underwear on and Other Things You Learn Talking To R.A. the Rugged Man
Tonight, one of underground rap's most notorious legends, R.A. the Rugged Man, throws his own birthday bash at Drom. Joining him for tonight's shindig are critically acclaimed West Coast MC Blu and politically charged syllable killer Diabolic. We spoke to R.A. about completing another Rugged year, readying his next album Legends Never Die, and (given his reputation as a respected movie buff) his thoughts on the Oscar nominations.
R.A. the Rugged Man
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Happy Birthday! How has the past year been for you?
Oh man, it's been amazing. I spent the year in the studio nonstop, working on my music, touring the world and being with my fans. My career has been moving forward nonstop. I really haven't had too much bad happen to me and I hope that the good luck streak continues.
Who have you been in the studio with?
I'm working with everybody, man. For my new album, I got my old Rawkus buddy Talib Kweli. We went in there and really dropped some super lyrical shit. Tech N9ne's been a good friend of mine for a long time, we finally got in the booth. Fastest rhyme I ever spit in my career type of shit. I got two songs with Vinnie Paz. Brother Ali, Masta Ace, Rakim, the young boy Hopsin, the Demigodz, I've been working. Buckwild did a couple beats, Apathy produced one and Ayatollah, I got a bunch of incredible producers. Mr. Green is one of my favorite producers now, I love working with him.
You also spent the year touring heavily around the world. Do you recall any particularly outlandish or crazy crowds?
Yeah, that's my job. Even if the crowd isn't crazy, you get the crowd crazy. Kids bouncing and stomping. That's my job, to turn the crowds into maniacs. It's funny, I was in Austria last month. Me and Havoc of Mobb Deep did a show in a big ass giant Austrian castle. It was crazy, the crowd was all drunk and having a party. A lot of the crowds in Austria are real rowdy. Anywhere in the planet though, if there's an R.A. show, I'm going to make sure they go crazy.
Considering how different your style is from both Blu and Diabolic, what made you decide to bring them together for your birthday show tonight?
Well, hip-hop is hip-hop man. Me and Blu just worked together on a music video last month. He's an incredible artist. Nature Sounds, my label, said Blu wants to do a show when he's in New York. I said I wanted to do a birthday jumpoff, can we make it the same thing? Then my man Diabolic and I were just kicking it and he said "Yo, let me come through and rock on that birthday joint," and I said "Yeah, of course." Each of them is quality artists, I'm not gonna say no. If they're great artists and legitimate hip-hop artists, let's show the world.