R.A. The Rugged Man - Die, Rugged Man, Die  
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by Low Key   
Talk about a long time in the making! The original dirty white boy emcee, R.A. The Rugged Man has waited almost ten years for his debut album to drop. Now with Nature Sounds Records backing him, R.A. is back to remind you that he still does not give a fuck with Die, Rugged Man, Die.

R.A. is one of those emcees you either love or hate. He has a distinct and raspy voice, molasses flow, and average lyrics. Still, you will be hard pressed to find an emcee that is more entertaining. Die, Rugged Man, Die is filled with R.A.'s zany antics and over the top tales of his life. "Lessons" addresses the question every Hip Hop fan has been asking, "Where the fuck has R.A. been?" Over producer Kroan's sparkling bells and piano loop, R.A. quickly goes through his experiences in the industry the past 10 years. From watching "mad rappers bite his shit and blow up", to witnessing his "little brother Max fall asleep and never wake up", "Lesson" explains it all.

On a lighter note, "Casanova (Fly Guy)" finds R.A. in pimp mode, addressing his bad looks and ability to still get pussy. Even though Giz and Cologero's simplistic production lacks the necessary depth, R.A.'s hilarious tales are enough to overcome its faults. "Chains" featuring Masta Killah and Killah Priest is a vintage b-boy track, with each emcee spitting straight heat over Ayatollah's beat. The throwback track "How Low" samples Afrika Bambaattaa's timeless "Planet Rock", as R.A. speeds up his flow and delivers a unique experience. J-Zone also comes through with a funky carnival beat for "Brawl", a typical "I'll beat your ass" R.A. joint.

Die, Rugged Man, Die is an entertaining album with its own unique sound. The production does falter in certain areas with "Dumb" and "On The Block", and overall the beats could have been better. Nevertheless, R.A. still succeeds with his long awaited debut album. Lets just hope we don't have to wait another 10 years for his follow up.

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