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R.A. the Rugged Man 

Die, Rugged Man, Die

Wednesday, Feb 23 2005
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A certain legend surrounds R.A. the Rugged Man. A rapper so talented he was the subject of a major-label bidding war in the mid-'90s, R.A. was also so reviled that he was eventually blackballed by nearly every label and banned from nearly every recording studio, venue, and label office, including his own, Jive Records. After slipping beneath the radar for several years, releasing sporadic singles and honing his writing skills in magazines like Mass Appeal, he finally comes back with a project that was worth the wait. Backed by thumping, radio-ready beats compliments of Nigga Nilez and a handful of other relative unknowns, R.A. breaks down his rather distinct outlook: "I ain't down to sign autographs and shake ya hands/ I don't want trendy-ass followers as fans/ I don't wanna sell records, I don't wanna be big/ I don't want MTV runnin' up in my crib." By sticking to his guns and being his nasty, hilarious self, R.A. has delivered an album that lives up to the legend.

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Anna Klafter

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