18 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Though he's been rhyming professionally since the early '90s (he was signed by Jive way back in 1992), R.A. the Rugged Man has had an interesting and wildly unconventional rap career. His first two albums were both shelved by label execs, but he never gave up. He released a gang of independent 12-inch singles, earned a reputation as a wildly unpredictable weirdo, collaborated with a zillion other emcees, and appeared on various compilations (including all the Rawkus Soundbombing joints). His official debut album, Die, Rugged Man, Die, finally dropped in 2004, followed by the mixtape-style Legendary Classics Vol. 1 in 2009. He returns with the aptly titled Legends Never Die, serving up his unique style of raw-dog hip-hop. It's a compelling mix of shock-value freakiness, wack MC dismantling, autobiographical storytelling, and straight love of the game. Neckbreaking production comes from East Coast maestros like Buckwild, Ayatollah, and Marco Polo, while the features include Sadat X, Vinnie Paz, Talib Kweli, Masta Ace, and Tech N9ne.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Though he's been rhyming professionally since the early '90s (he was signed by Jive way back in 1992), R.A. the Rugged Man has had an interesting and wildly unconventional rap career. His first two albums were both shelved by label execs, but he never gave up. He released a gang of independent 12-inch singles, earned a reputation as a wildly unpredictable weirdo, collaborated with a zillion other emcees, and appeared on various compilations (including all the Rawkus Soundbombing joints). His official debut album, Die, Rugged Man, Die, finally dropped in 2004, followed by the mixtape-style Legendary Classics Vol. 1 in 2009. He returns with the aptly titled Legends Never Die, serving up his unique style of raw-dog hip-hop. It's a compelling mix of shock-value freakiness, wack MC dismantling, autobiographical storytelling, and straight love of the game. Neckbreaking production comes from East Coast maestros like Buckwild, Ayatollah, and Marco Polo, while the features include Sadat X, Vinnie Paz, Talib Kweli, Masta Ace, and Tech N9ne.

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3:53
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1:55
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3:12
3:43
3:54
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4:19
2:49
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4:07

About R.A. the Rugged Man

Mixing Twista's speed, De La Soul's D.A.I.S.Y. Age attitude, and the modern swagger of the Tech N9ne-driven underground, rapper R.A. the Rugged Man is a favorite guest star for the likes of Mobb Deep, Wu-Tang, and Notorious B.I.G., but his own discography is surprisingly slim. One reason could be that in the early '90s, the then-18- year-old Long Island rapper signed with Jive, but he parted ways with the label before his debut album was released. Signing with Priority in the mid-'90s and then having that contract absorbed by Capitol just delayed his come-up, so in 2004, he went the indie route and released Die, Rugged Man, Die on Nature Sounds. In 2009 the compilation Legendary Classics, Vol. 1 rounded up his collaborative releases with names like the Notorious B.I.G., Jedi Mind Tricks, and Sadat X all landing on the track list. Talib Kweli, Tech N9ne, Krizz Kaliko, and Masta Ace were some of the names that joined R.A. on his 2013 sophomore release Legends Never Die. ~ David Jeffries

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