US and Canadian Underground Hip Hop coverage including Rap plus Soul - exclusive interviews, reviews, articles
R.A. The Rugged Man - conducted by Bill "Low-Key" Heinzelman  

Just Don't Give A F**k

February 2005

MVRemix: Obviously you have a great understanding of the history of Hip Hop. So why is Hip Hop the only culture that labels their legends as old school. Because in Rock you'll never heard someone say, 'oh the rolling stones are old school'. But in Hip Hop it seems the younger generation really does not know and care about the Melle Mel's, Krs-One's, Rakim's, etc.

R.A.: Because the world doesn't mind being ignorant. They just like going, 'Oh that is old school, its stupid, its nothing'. The Rolling Stones keep making records and touring, so they stay in your face and you have to know about them. Plus, rock music doesn't change at the same pace as rap music. Rap music changes so rapidly, every two or four months it sounds differently. A rock group can make the same style album for six years and everyone will think its great. They can make one album, and do the same exact sound six years later and it will be genius. Imagine a rapper come out with the same exact style six years after he did it? People would be like, 'get the fuck outta here, you are old'. Because its a stylish thing. Its about changing times and being ahead of yourself. Plus, the rock fans are a little easier on the rock n roll dudes. We got it a little tougher. We have to be in there face every second and continue to change the way we do shit. Young kids like being ignorant, they like not knowing shit. They just don't feel like doing research or knowing their history. They'll say shit like, 'well I don't know about it, so it must not be good'. They don't mind being spoon fed shit, which is the one sad thing about all cultures. Plus, its sad that Hip Hop has become a pop culture, because now you have knuckleheads claiming that they are hip hoppers.

MVRemix: In your CD booklet, you state that G Rap is the greatest ever, and if anyone says different they are mistaken. So in your opinion, what does G Rap have that puts him over lets say Rakim or Krs?

R.A.: Longevity! That is exactly what he has. Krs-one was great when he was great, but he is not great anymore. He stopped being great about '94 or '95. Rakim, when he was great, he was the best fucking rapper on the planet earth. But how long did that last? Rakim rapped with Mobb Deep and Big Noyd about what? Six years ago?

MVRemix: Yeah, on Hoodlum.

R.A.: Yeah, and Big Noyd was doing better than him. If you put G. Rap together with Mobb Deep and look what happened. You remember that song with The Alchemist beat?

MVRemix: Yeah, The Realest, that shit was crazy.

R.A.: Oh, he destroyed them kids man! It made you not wanna listen to Mobb Deep. So longevity is what makes G. Rap better than every other rapper that existed. But who do you consider the greatest rapper alive at this moment?

MVRemix: Well, I would still say Rakim. But it depends on what you mean. Do you mean who has the most skills right now, or who is the greatest of all time that is still alive? I still think Rakim has talent. He killed "The Watcher 2" with Jay-z.

R.A.: I mean, who destroys tracks right now, at this minute. If you put G. Rap on a track with any rapper alive right now, and five years, and ten years ago, he would have ripped any rapper. And he does it every year on every track. From Big Pun, to Nas, to Big Daddy Kanein history, anyone he ever stepped on a record with, he roasted. So Krs-One isn't great anymore, he is good but now he sounds old school. If you throw G. Rap on a record with a hot producer and a brand new rapper, like Jadakiss, who is supposed to be the brand new kid in the streets on some King of New York type shit, he'll destroy him. I can't say the same thing about Krs-One.

MVRemix: Ok I'm just gonna name two emcees, groups or producers, and you tell me which one you think is better and why?


MVRemix: First up - Jay-z or Nas

R.A.: Jay-z. He is more versatile. He has more styles and is more consistent. Plus Jay has more charisma and a better stage show. Jay has better presence, whether its on stage, on a track or in videos. Nas is one personality. He is just an ill book of rhymes. That's what Nas is. He is an ill book of rhymes with one vocal pattern, one sound to his voice and one style of doing things. And it's dope! But Jay has more.

MVRemix: I have been trying to say the same thing for the longest, but thats me. Next up, A Tribe Called Quest or Outkast.

R.A.: Wow, that is an interesting one.

MVRemix: Because you hear a lot of comparisons between the two.

R.A.: Why, people compare them?

MVRemix: Not style wise, but people compare their longevity and their amount of classic albums. They are both dope groups that were and have been consistent for a long time. Plus, they both arguably have three classic albums a piece

R.A.: This is an interesting one. I'm more of a New York type of guy, but I didn't love the Tribe's Instinctive Travels album, the first one. But I loved their second and third albums. I'll give this one a draw, but with my particular tastes and my childhood, personally I'll give it to the Tribe. But overall its a draw, and they both have done the same amount of stuff, but in different ways.

MVRemix: 2pac or Biggie?

R.A.: Biggie! Without question, that isn't even a comparison! Not at all! Biggie was one of the top 5 greatest rappers of the last 15 years. 2pac was a great personality, nice smile, the girls loved him, had a lot to say, but Biggie was an authentic emcee. He was an authentic, murderous, lyrical emcee. He had one of the great, ill voices of the last 15 years. So its not even close.

MVRemix: More underrated Tragedy Khadafi or Heavy D?

R.A.: Wow! That is funny. I think Heavy D is, because Tragedy is critically acclaimed. Everybody understands that Tragedy is a dope rapper. Heavy D, people look at him like he sucks at rapping and he was just some commercial, fat rapper. I love Trag to death, I love all his albums. But people sleep on Heavy D as an emcee just because they think he was commercial. The way he rode a track, his lyrical content, the way he bounced on his beats, the way he took advantage of shitHeavy D is actually slept on and underrated as an emcee. They think he is wack. In history, if you look in these books, you will never see Heavy D in the top 50 greatest emcees of all time. But they will have Lauren Hill, and I don't think she is better than Heavy D. And I'm not saying I think Heavy D is better than Trag, I just think he is more underrated.

MVRemix: Which emcee never lived up to his potential more - Canibus or Ras Kass?

R.A.: Canibus. Because I think Ras is a strong solid emcee, but Canibus could have been that lyrical murder. See, Canibus can still kill a track, he is a dope rapper. You put Canibus on stage with a mic and he will just fucking decapitate rappers. But everyone hates on the kid. If fact, Canibus was the most overrated rapper of the year when he was coming out, when he was saying he was the second coming of Christ. Then a year later, he was the most underrated rapper, because everybody was saying he was wack, when he really was a good emcee. So I think if Canibus would have learned to make songs he could have been great. But I think they both had the same problems. Neither of them had songs or ill records. But I think Canibus could have really been one of the tightest motherfuckers. Ras kind of did this thing, but Bis had potential to go there and he just disappointed the world.

MVRemix: Better producer - Premier or Marley Marl?

R.A.: Marley, without question! Premier has a reputation of having mad dope records, but if you really go into what his arsenal was, his best records are "DWYCK".

MVRemix: Mass Appeal.

R.A.: Yeah, "Mass Appeal", and "Ten Crack Commandments". But Marley has all the greatest rap records of all time that people are still sampling now. From "The Symphony" to "Road To The Riches", "Make The Music With Your Mouth, Biz", to "Down By Law", "Jane Stop This Crazy Thing".Marley had all the greatest hits ever. "The Bridge", that beat is still sampled every fucking second of the day. So its Marley without question. Now that is no disrespect to Premier, at all. I think Marley is better than Dre, and probably the greatest top two or three of all time.

MVRemix: He even had the stuff he did with Lords Of The Underground. Some people don't even remember that, cause he did his thing on there.

R.A.: Yeah, the beats on that were sick. "Mama Said Knock You Out" was another dope album from that era. He also produced some Bell Biv Divo shit, that was ridiculous. So he was still doing his thing in the early 90's and killing it. But we are looking at Marley when he was just killing everybody and nobody could fuck with his beats. That was the '87/'88 era.

MVRemix: What else do you have going on in the future? Another album?

R.A.: Right now, its all about Die, Rugged Man Die. That is the future for the next six or seven months. We are going to be busting our asses to make the world hear this record.

L’Orange and Stik Figa – The City Under The City album review

Earl Sweatshirt – Doris album review

Deltron 3030 Announces Fall Tour Dates

ethemadassasin – Soul on Fire album review

Robin Thicke – Blurred Lines album review

Ghostface Killah & Apollo Brown – 12 Reasons to Die: The Brown Tape album review

Rich Gang – Rich Gang album review

Kelly Rowland – Talk A Good Game album review

U-God – The Keynote Speaker album review

Kevin Gates – Stranger Than Fiction album review

- About Us - Site Map - Privacy Policy - Contact Us -

   © 2001-2018 MVRemix Media

MVRemix Urban | Online Hip Hop Magazine | US and Canadian Underground Hip Hop - exclusive interviews, reviews, articles


"Nas is one personality. He is just an ill book of rhymes. That's what Nas is. He is an ill book of rhymes with one vocal pattern, one sound to his voice and one style of doing things. And it's dope! But Jay has more."