It’s A Beautiful Thing Being R.A. the Rugged Man

A lot of people look at me like “Rugged Man’s skill level is too high to be where he’s at’. It’s sad that he’s not more known. He should be huge.” But here’s the thing, this is the path that I’ve chosen to take, to never conform and to never make my music more for the masses than the actual heads.

I’m not some no name rapper who can’t get a deal so I’m rebelling against the labels. No, I’ve signed big money deals with several different major labels from Jive, to Priority to Capitol and I have big offers I refused from almost every label you can name from Sony to Warner to Def Jam and the list goes on. I had 15 years of opportunities to go the commercial route and those opportunities are continuing to come my way. But as an artist I am the happiest ever, doing what the fuck I love doing, the way I wanna do it.
I’d rather not make music at all than have a bunch of clueless, culture murdering suit and ties guiding my career. That’s why I was so unhappy in the past being locked into those situations.

My story is not a sad one. From what I came from, my career is an amazing success story. I feel blessed everyday for the tools/skills God has given me for hip-hop; artistically I feel that I’m one of the true greats at what I do. Trust me, it’s a beautiful thing being R.A. the Rugged Man.

Most of the responses from the XXL readers so far have shown love/respect but I seen some hating, saying shit like “Rugged Man, you aint gunna sell no real units on your new album Legendary Classics Vol. 1, you aint shit..”

Well, Let me explain how things work. Yes, our records don’t always have proper awareness because these are self-financed projects and we can’t spend the type of money on advertising/brainwashing that big corporations spend. But here’s the math; my last record Die, Rugged Man, Die cost under $5 grand to make and generated close to $400 grand worldwide.

Obviously if a company is spending millions of dollars promoting their artist, there is going to be awareness and more demand for that product that week than mine, but labels are only interested in first week sales then they spit the artist to the curb and move to the next.

When we do records, we self-finance and spend minimum in promotions and in the process we make our money back 100 times over. You can’t beat that. And we never have to conform to not one radio programmer or pussy ass record exec, plus if your music is your own, shouldn’t you own’ it? I own everything I ever made after I left the labels forever.

Hold up let me stop and give my new album a quick plug. Here’s another joint off the Legendary Classics, Vol. 1, if you ain’t heard this one when it first dropped here’s your chance. The flows and lyrics are sick…

I’m an old school head, boy. I said “pamphlets from the 80′s – Library: Lies Buried, TV: Tell lies visually, Kid you with me?” Ha! I brought it back on some 5 Percenters whoopin’ ya ass for not knowing today’s mathematics shit.

Anyway, back to the topic, other folks who think I’m doing such a poor job getting my word out, your stupid ass is sitting here reading about me as we speak, so I must be doing something right…

Enough, now let me get on with the regular blogging:

We had a little album release jump off last night at BOB BAR in NYC with DJ Ready Cee on the wheels, my man was killing it, playing all the classics, from Rakim and Whodini to Guy and Evelyn “Champagne” King. He knows I’m a sucker for that nostalgic shit and he kept it real old school/True School for me…

Shout to my boy, 300 pound publicist Richie Abbott always doing it big. The only PR cat that sparred six rounds with James “Lights Out” Toney and beats dudes’ asses in the back of L.A. burger joints at 2 in the morning. He used to rep me when I was on Priority Records. He came out last night too.

It was a good atmosphere. I just chilled in the back with a couple tables of sexy B-movie actresses, a hot female porn photographer, And a couple gorgeous female singers, just living the life. I didn’t post up where the party was at cuz I didn’t want none of you ugly-ass XXL Internet nerds showing up to my shit. Sorry.

Random Shit I’m Looking forward to

1) Pacman vs. Cotto: Gauranteed to be a great fight with those two all action fighters.It wont be no Floyd Mayweather running from a guy half his size bullshit. Also can’t wait to see the rest of the 168 lb Super Middleweight Tournament on Showtime. Don’t be fooled by the lack of media coverage the sport of Boxing is phenominal right now.

2) Also looking forward to this Big L documentary being filmed. I walked out my building to get something to eat and they were filming at the Big L memorial on 140th a Lenox. They noticed me and asked me to do a quick interview for it. Man, I was happy to do it. Big L was fuckin’ tremendous with them lyrics.

Also if you didnt read my Wednesday XXL blog on Obama and Afghanastan War go back and read that shit, It was my favorite Blog for XXL so far but got the least comments outta the 3 that i did so far.

The one and only


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  • Freeway






    • Fumar Escobar

      Freeway another on the long list of catts biting the real freeway rick ross….

      RA’s a legend………..

      • GIBZ

        Freeway’s also a hater. An emotion. A trait usually coming from women. Ever heard the term “love to hate”??? Ur hate shows that ur obsessed with the man, to have to click his blog, type ur name, ur email, and what u commented. HA!

    • Drake

      don’t be talking bout my boo boo fugged man like that. he sucks cock like a pro. and he swallows.

  • DV8


    i dug this blog alot especially the part about you doin it independent instead of letting them suits run (ruin) your shit.

    keep grindin…

  • Tony Grands

    I can definitely see where the indie route would be more beneficial, especially if an artist has the drive to create their own lane & the cognition to stay in it. Mathematically, that’s the move.

    Honestly, I’ve heard R.A. here & there over the years & have seen the name quite a bit also. That perseverance is where longevity pays off.

    Most importantly, success lies in the eyes of the successful. Nothing’s better than living life on one’s own terms.

  • re-kon

    Respect to the O.G. I’ve been a fan for a long time. The difference between R.A. and a lot of other “rappers” is his longevity. After all these other commercial “rappers” lose their “hype” and “hot streak”, they will be forgotten. Lets bow our heads for a minute for the m.i.a. (the majority of g-unit, murder inc. and no limit. I see you cash money millionaires).
    Anyways,R.A. will always be remember and respected in the hip hop community. 10 years from now people will still be listening to his music. Besides, who wants fans who don’t know who Kool G. Rap is anyways?

  • latino heat

    this is unrelated, but did any of ya’ll catch the Bol post that was up for about 20 minutes earlier? he was talking about 50′s album that leaked yesterday, and by the time i went to leave a comment it was “mysteriously” gone.

    “ooooh they so sensitive” – Kanye West

    • $ykotic/Don McCaine

      Damn, I missed that.

      But I did get BISD early this morning(Int’l leaked version). Full.

      (Watch all the clowns respond) It’s a banger people…I’m cop the album for the 2 movies though.

      R.A., you ain’t lying son. Real talk on the industry.


      • chillin mayne

        hey Syk…i was just reading the comments on the gaytl blog by mike bigga, and i noticed that greanpeace treaty link u posted and i checked it out…i skimmed throught it but ima go in depth when i gets time…regardless, good looks yo, keep our heads up…where you be catching all this knowledge from though?? as in how does it come to your attention?

        • $ykotic/Don McCaine

          I know a lot of people in my life travels…from all walks & forms. The email/phone list is a kaleidescope of man…

          Besides it’s the duty of a true OG to pass on the jewels that were given to you.

        • chillin mayne

          agreed…that knowledge is greatly appreciated…keep our heads up

      • chillin

        hey Syk…wassup mayne, i was just reading the comments on the gaytl blog by mike bigga, and i noticed that greanpeace treaty link u posted and i checked it out…i skimmed throught it but ima go in depth when i gets time…regardless, good looks yo, keep our heads up…where you be catching all this knowledge from though?? as in how does it come to your attention?

  • mech1

    This is the most honest and valid talk I’ve heard come out of a rapper’s mouth in a long time. Your doing an excellent job keeping the torch lit for the true heads. I’ve been mainlining that M.O.P. for years, So R.A. spitting over a Fame beat is just plain ol raw…. and I gotta wait for it?…. Thats wrong R.A. Gonna pay cash for that new compilation as soon as it makes its way to St. Louis. Thanks for staying true to the craft.

  • Brooklyn

    i feel the independent thing, when you sign to a major label, it’s like you’re signing away your soul. you become a puppet, usually utilized to perpetuate ignorance and make money for the company without maintaining your self-respect. and they’re making a big l documentary? aw hell, it’s been a long time coming, but shit, i’m anticipating that shit right about now too.

  • casey

    Def Jam offered you a deal? Doing what, painting the studio?


  • Casey

    Def Jam offered you a deal? To do what, paint the studio?


    • beaver

      hahahahaaa tightt

  • beaver

    i’m really diggin dat trackk..likin dat beat..kkool an relaxin..i can fall alseep wit dat on..nice.

    yea do your thing r.a….

  • EmCDL

    Like I said before, you got a new fan outta me R.A.; if ish is hot, I stick with it. You definitely right about going independent…I’m going that route right now with my music. I’m working on an album right now and it’ll probably be out around spring/summer 2009. But the main point is that its my ish thats coming out and I’m doing things on my own terms…trying to promote it is hard as hell on your own but I like to be able to own my music and have the money come to me.

    Oh yeah just got my copy of Legendary Classics and that ish go hard; didn’t know you did a track with Biggie. Keep doing ya thing man!

    • FlapJack

      See, if you were on a major, they would have told you what year it is!

      What’s good Em?

      • EmCDL

        Yo what up Flapjack? Ain’t nothing here, just trying to get use to working and going to school full time…ish is a killer but I’m getting use to it. And of course doing my music

  • Monty B.

    Sorry RA, but Em’s BET cypher owned your entire catalogue.

    Just saying.

  • Escobar9300

    I respect your hustle and refusal to conform, reminds me alot of the mindset that Immortal Technique has for making music too. However, I don’t understand the need to take shots at the people you’re writing this blog for:

    “I didn’t want none of you ugly-ass XXL Internet nerds showing up to my shit. Sorry.”

    It’s usually best not to bite the hand that feeds you big homie. Like it or not, the majority of people who read and comment on these blogs are real hip hop heads who are passionate about the music and the culture that you use as a vehicle to make a living. No need to throw salt at people who may end up buying your record out of respect for your hustle. Don’t forget, respect is a two way street homie. I enjoy your music and respect your mindset for the industry, but that comment you made caught me off guard. Keep spitting knowledge. Also, back to Immortal Technique, when you two gonna get on a track together?

  • Heil

    Fuck you haters.
    hes one of the best and he knows by himself that hes the best.

    Yo RA i buyed your album and damn I love that shit. Keep going man!

    From the Netherlands

  • ryan chevy

    all you cat’s better do your study of the culture before you open your yaps RA is more than a legend he stay’s tru to hip hop more than anyone and is the original grimmy white rapper he does it for the love and is extremly good at it fuck them sell out’s keep doing what you are doing for us very few real hip hop heads true fam hear 1 luv rugged man your my fav rapper fuck eminem he melts in your mouth and he will stain your hands big up RA hope u read this

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  • Fishscale

    Copped Legendary classics…. dope shit….eargasm all round…
    peace from AUSTRALIA!!

    by the way RA when u comin down under next???


  • GIBZ

    GOT DAYUM!!!! I aint even finished the first verse and I had that “damn he spittin nasty” face lol. U a ILL NIGGA Rugged!! WORD!! Best believe I’m coppin that Legendary Classics vol. 1!! In fact I’m coppin 3, one for the whip, one for system in the living room, and one for the little shitty c.d. player I got in the shower cus I like to have the music playin while I’m gettin cleaned up, or takin a shit either one. I swear I aint ever got this hyped over another rapper since Big Pun and everytime I hear u spit u honestly are surpassing him (RIP) That being said PLEEZ keep doin ya GOT DAYUM thing!!! Keep that shit away from the suits as long as u can. Remember, it aint about the money, its about the art. Money is the root of all evil, we dont need u gettin caught up and losin another LEGEND in the game cus of the SHIT money bring!!

    Other than that, u aint lying bout boxing shit is still in full swing. The Big L documentary is definitely gonna be something special.

    funny how the blog that u touched on about so much REAL shit, gets the least comments. Alot of brainwashed muthafuckas out there R.A. but keep spittin ur infinite knowledge, if they smart they will listen up, if not fuckem anyway! HA!

  • IKill4Fun

    ra you’re weak. kicking that same tired bullshit bitching about the industry and talking about deals you turned down 20 years ago. yeah rap fans are brainwashed, and more and more garbage is coming out weakening hip hop, but none of that makes you any better. you suck at rap and life in general. you spit weak ass shit and act like it’s the greatest shit ever written.

    die rugged man die sucked. you’re not a legend, just a deluded rap fan. the 80s are long gone and it’s about to be 2010. why don’t you just shut the fuck up with your dumbass rants and try to spit something decent? the only decent track you ever had was til my heart stops. the rest of your shit is all whack garbage. legendary classics? are you serious? how many albums have you dropped and how long have you been rapping? you’ve probably released on average one track for every year you’ve been rapping. and that’s lame. nobody wants to sign you cause you suck and have no fans.

    also i saw you at a jedi mind tricks show and you were a bitch ass nigga, molesting underage girls and acting like your shit don’t stink. get over yourself, you’re not special. you’re not in anyone’s top 20, not even in my top 20 of white rappers. you’re a fucking embarassment and i’m gonna fuck you up next time you’re in my city.

    plus you’re a hater and a faggot, getting all giddy cause a nobody like yourself got an opportunity to talk shit to someone infinitely greater than yourself like floyd mayweather. you sound like a gay stan running around trying to gain acceptance from black rappers and name dropping them every 2 minutes. biggie was probably drunk and high and just being polite if he ever told you you were ill. you kicking the same bullshit ass story about your pops, dead siblings, and juvenile bullshit that lead to you never succeeding, is boring. cause i heard the same stupid stories a over and over from you and it was boring 10 years ago. you’re just looking for the next generation to buy into your bullshit stories and purchase and album. so you’re marketing to 8 year olds just like the people you’re talking trash about.

    take a long look in the mirror. cause you’re a pathetic nobody and everyone sees it but you. kill yaself ya fat slob fuck. your blogs suck too. you suck at everything.

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  • HipHopFive15

    Yep. Like him or not, you cant deny RAs a legend and just sicker than a motherfucker with the hip hop. Unless you havent done your reasearch of course. Thats what I hate about seein muthafuckas hate on dudes like RA, cuz it really duz support the hip hop is dead thing. I aint sayin its true, but when you got people that claim theyre fans of hip hop or claim theyre artists and they dont know about a dude like RA or cant at least respect him, you know theres a blemish in the culture that wasnt there before. Respect on how non-conform you are, I been puttin out demos and if i got a call from def jam turnin them down would be hard as a motherfucker. Keep that ill shit comin out