Hip-Hop MC from Suffolk County Long Island, USA. Affiliated with Rawkus Records and other NYC underground labels.The Long Island rapper finally reveals his long awaited debut album on Nature Sounds. Banned from performing live in most of the United States from 1995 to 1998, banned from recording studios and damn near every rap label that ever existed, R.A. the Rugged Man is finally back for revenge. While most rappers live in a world of fantasy, R.A. is one of the few MC's that you can guarantee his rhymes are real life - as sick as it might sound. When asked about R.A., Biggie Smalls was once quoted as saying "I thought I was the illest."Coming from a broken Long Island home, R.A.'s father was a gun toting Vietnam veteran/mental patient affected by Agent Orange. His family was forever changed by the potent chemical - his brother Maxx was born handicapped and blind, eventually dying at the age of 10, while his sister Dee Ann couldn't walk or speak. R.A. took refuge in hip hop, beginning his rap career at the age of 12, developing a style that killed all competitors citywide. After conquering the New York battle scene as a teenager, stories of his ruthless rhymes and outrageous stage presence had the recording companies at attention, and soon R.A. was the subject of a nine label bidding war. At 18, he signed to Jive Records, but eventually was dropped for the violent, disgusting, and irresponsible behavior that would haunt him throughout his career.Despite a notorious reputation for pissing off executives, R.A. developed a musical resume over the next 10 years that speaks for itself. Working with everyone from Mobb Deep to Notorious B.I.G., as well as producers such as Erick Sermon, Trackmasters, DJ Quik, Alchemist, Havoc, Buckwild, and Ayatollah. He was featured on all three of Rawkus's Soundbombing albums alongside Eminem and Mos Def, as well as the platinum selling WWF Aggression album. He recently signed a book deal with Testify Books, and his writing appears regularly in Vibe, King, Mass Appeal, and Rides. R.A. has accomplished all this without ever releasing an LP of his own. Rolling Stone Magazine recently compared R.A.'s rap flow to that of a blue-eyed Biggie Smalls.
R.A. the Rugged Man, real name R.A. Thorburn, is a rapper from Stony Brook, Long Island. He began his music career at age 12. At 18, he signed to Jive Records. R.A.'s legend, perpetuated by the P.R. biographies at his various labels, say he was dropped due to violent and disgusting behavior, but in interviews he disputes many of the more extreme stories told about him, adding that Jive just didn't know how to break new artists at the time. Since then, he has worked with Mobb Deep, Smut Peddlers and Notorious B.I.G, as well as producers Erick Sermon, Trackmasters, DJ Quik, Alchemist, J-Zone, RZA, and Ayatollah (Lamont Dorrell). He was featured on all three of Rawkus's Soundbombing albums, as well as the platinum-selling WWF Aggression album. In 2004 R.A. released his long awaited debut album "Die, Rugged Man, Die" which received good reviews but was met with little commercial success.
Coming from a broken Long Island home, R.A.'s father was a gun toting Vietnam veteran/mental patient affected by Agent Orange. His family was forever changed by the potent chemical - his brother Maxx was born handicapped and blind, eventually dying at the age of 10, while his sister Dee Ann couldn't walk or speak.
In addition to his hip-hop notoriety, R.A. writes a monthly movie column for Mass Appeal magazine, is a contributor to The Ego Trip Book of Rap Lists (St. Martin's Press) and Ego Trip's Big Book of Racism (Harper Collins), and has written numerous articles for other magazines including Vibe, King, and Source. Mr. Rugged has also recently signed a book deal that will explore his maniacal love of boxing to be co-authored with Max Boxing's Doug Fischer and scheduled for publication in spring '06 from Testify / Powerhouse Books.
A rabid horror-film fan, R.A. has written three screenplays with cult-film director Frank Henenlotter -- "Sick in the Head," "Love is Hell," and "Twisted Sex" -- the latter of which is scheduled for production this year with R.A. as co-producer.