R.A. the Rugged Man with Snak, Deja and DissiKuss (Live) [Review]
Vancouver, B.C. – Tonic nightclub continued their Live N Direct Thursdays with a show by the notorious R.A. the Rugged Man. Unfotunately the night started off slow, with only a small crowd coming to witness the warm up acts. Disskuss performed to a small audience and the start of Deja’s set was also quiet but in due time the crowd picked up as Deja brought his positive energy and expert flow to the stage. DJ D-Rec got the crowd nice and warmed up and then Snak the Ripper and his crew hit the stage, leading into the headline act.
At the midnight hour the Rugged Man jumped onto the stage. He wasted no time in dropping into “A Star is Born” off Die Rugged Man Die. By now the crowd had flocked to the stage like moths to a flame, packing in to get as close as possible: next on the set list was “Chains” and the man famous for wearing Devil costumes and being shirtless at his shows was dressed in a print stripe suit with a matching vest. However, any ideas that he had changed and possibly gone Jay-Z on us were quickly diffused when he looked around the crowd and said “There’s a whole lot of bitches in here!” even asking one girl “You have a pussy, really?” He did have a point though; there was a significant female turn-out that night. One wouldn’t expect a rapper with songs like “Cunt-Renaissance” to have such a female following, but then Rugged reminded us “Man bitches love R.A!”
Next up was the crowd pleaser “Lessons”, where the crowd came in on the chorus. R.A. was continuously trying to get the crowd louder and louder, without much reaction. After that, “Stanley Kubrik” and then a heartfelt tribute to the Rugged Man’s friend and fellow MC, Hell Razah. Apparently he’d fallen ill earlier this year so DJ D-Rec played some one of his joints in his honor. We were then lucky enough to witness a hip-hop gemthe Rugged Man spit his verse off of “Cunt-Renaissance:” when he dropped into his multi-syllable, 100 bars per minute flow he looked as though he’d been possessed as his head began to shake back and forth. Needless to say the crowd went nuts.
The tone got a bit more serious as R.A asked the crowd “Who here knows my father?” Anybody who knows the history of R.A’s father as a Vietnam War veteran who was affected by Agent Orange knew what was up next, “Uncommon Valor.” This was succeeded by “Posse Cut” off of Legendary Classics vol. 1. R.A had been calling girls bitches, grabbing their faces and sticking them in his crotch all night but we now got to see a much more humble side as he turned to the crowd and said “What you guys wanna hear, I’m here for you” Someone requested the boxing freestyle he released recently after his verbal altercation with Floyd Mayweather, and he spit what he remembered from it. That was followed by “On the Block.” Then he grabbed four girls that had been dancing at the front all night and serenaded them, but that I mean grinded and felt them up, to the backdrop of Charlie Wilsons “Magic”. The night hit its peak with the “Da girlz, They Luv Me” as R.A demanded, “lets get crazy!” as he entered the crowd and started a mosh pit.
Anyone who thought that the Rugged Man had passed his prime was definitely proven wrong on Thursday night. He was just as obnoxious and chauvinistic as he always was and he can still spit with the best of them. All in all, another decent Thursday night at Tonic.
Written by Mazin Sidahmed for HipHopCanada
Photography by Jamie Sands for HipHopCanada