San Mateo native Rasco (whose name is an acronym for "realistic, ambitious, serious, cautious, and organized") worked as a member of the West Coast hip-hop groups Various Blends and Cali Agents. His deep voice and straight-ahead rap style came to the public's attention with his 1997 12" The Unassisted, which earned him several honors including number one on the Bay Area Hip-Hop Coalition chart, number one on the independent hip-hop chart in Hits magazine, and number one on Sway and King Tech's nationally syndicated Wake Up Show for four weeks straight. His debut album, Time Waits for No Man, was released in 1998 on Stones Throw with a production team that included Paul Nice, Peanut Butter Wolf, and Evidence of the group Dilated Peoples. The follow-up EP The Birth arrived in 1999. Moving from Stones Throw to Copasetik, Rasco released Hostile Environment (2001) and Presents Hip-Hop Classics, Vol. 1 (2003), but after a falling-out with the label, he left to start his own, Pocketslinted, in 2004. That same year he issued the compilations 20,000 Leagues Under the Street, Vol. 1 (a re-release from 2000) and Minority Report, and in 2005 his solo effort The Dick Swanson Theory came out.