R.A. The Rugged Man
Few artists are ever as controversial as they are influential. New York legend R.A. the Rugged Man has lived up to such a moniker 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. But by combining the authenticity of his undeniably rugged life with his undisputed mic skills and understanding of the genre as a Hip-Hop historian, his music has both survived and thrived off the strength of bootlegs and word of mouth through high profile collaborations and high quality official releases, setting a standard for “Real MCs” that few have ever attempted to match. Frequent collaborator The Notorious B.I.G. was once quoted in reference to R.A. by stating “And I thought I was the illest.” 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. His immediate growth as an artist and constantly raising profile soon 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. Currently, R.A. finds himself in the studio, readying his new album for Nature Sounds. Joined by celebrated producers Buckwild, Marco Polo, Ayatollah and Lil Fame of M.O.P., it promises to not only live up to his legendary standards, but exceed every grimy expectation. A traditionalist, innovator and trailblazer, R.A. has devoted his life to Hip-Hop, stating “The only reason I live is to be the best at what I do and I get better at it every year of my life. I can’t wait to unleash it to the world.”
A-F-R-O (All Flows Reach Out) is an 18-year old MC from Los Angles, CA. He first gained notoriety in 2014 for an audio submission to R.A The Rugged Man’s ‘Definition of a Rap Flow’ contest, which quickly went viral. R.A. described the submission, saying “this kid won the contest before it even ended!” It became a platform to showcase A-F-R-O’s “off the top” ability; witty word play, distinctive voice & a complexity to his rhyme schemes.
A-F-R-O quickly captured the attention of notable figures in music. Questlove is quoted as saying, “A-F-R-O is the future of Hip-Hop.” Queen Latifah personally requested him to perform on her talk show. He’s been invited into studio sessions with producers such as DJ Premier, Erick Sermon, Pete Rock, Prince Paul, DITC, Marco Polo & Mr. Green.
A-F-R-O has also shown that his talents extend outside the booth, as he landed a prominent role in VH1’s recent show ‘The Breaks.’
A-F-R-O is now prepping upcoming EPs & has a consistent tour schedule, including festival appearances at SoundSet, Splash Festival, and more.