R.A. The Rugged Man – Industry’s Nighmare Part 2
AllHipHop.com: These next lyrics relate to popular producers, as well. “Alchemist, you’re still my little buddy, even though you stole that Royce Da 5’9 beat from me.”
R.A.: He just remade a beat that I had made. Me and my boy Kap stayed up one night and made a beat that I rapped on, called ‘Stanley Kubrick.” The song went on the Soundbombing 2 compilation. About two years before it went on that album, though, I had sold the beat to Rawkus. That was probably like 1997. They leaked it, and Stretch Armstrong played it on Hot 97. Alchemist liked it, and he remade it. He remade the f***ing thing. It wasn’t a sample. He just replayed it all over, and sold it. People come up to me and are like, “I like that Royce beat that you rapped on.”
[Laughs] Alchemist is my man, and he’s good people. He will only say good things about R.A. I like seeing him do good, cuz he is right now, and I hope it keeps going for him. That’s why I didn’t say, “You fagg*t, you stole my sh*t.” I kept it cute, like, “Hey little buddy.” He’s good peoples, and you know I mean that. If I thought he was a b*tch, I’d say it. I’m not scared of him. [Laughs] But, you remake my track, and I’m gonna say it. I’d say it about anybody. Plus, “Stanley Kubrick” is such a petty underground record. It’s funny to me.
AllHipHop.com: On one of the songs, you say how you were the “first Whitey to be grimey,” and in another song you mention Eminem and Bubba Sparxxx. It’s funny, cuz you also say how maybe you should get Just Blaze to back you up, alluding to the fact that a White rapper seems to need a Black man to back him in order to be successful.
R.A.: The Just Blaze lyric came from real life, too. When Bubba came out and blew with Timbaland, and Em had blown up with Dr. Dre, that’s what the industry was really saying to me. ‘Yo, if you just get like Timbaland. No, he already has somebody, so get Just Blaze, cuz he’s hot right now!” That’s actual conversations that people were telling me. People say that corny sh*t to me. So, what are you telling me? I need a Black guy, and once I get one, I’m on? I don’t need a producer. That wasn’t a diss to anybody. It was just something people said to me that is funny. Industry people are so formula. Do something original, motherf***ers.
AllHipHop.com: So what was going through your head when Eminem blew up, using a similar style to the one you had been perfecting?
R.A.: Back in the early 90s, when rappers that were worse than me used to blow up, I would get so heated. I was young, and sh*t wasn’t going in my favor and I would see untalented people blow up. This is like 1994, 1995. I grew out of that. By the time Eminem and Bubba came out years later, I knew that they aren’t effecting my shine. People would be like, “You said what Eminem said before he said it.” What, am I going to whine about it? I’m a grown-ass man. Let dudes do things their way, and I’ll do me. That sh*t isn’t taking away from my money. I ain’t sweating them. Success to everybody. Unless you are really horrible. If you’re the worst, those are the motherf***ers I don’t like to see succeed. Some of these guys are so bad, that they almost make Rap look like a f***ing joke, and that sh*t is not cool.
AllHipHop.com: You also talk about how at one point, you had people like Russell Simmons sending limos you way, courting you heavily. Why do you think offers like that were never fully capitalized on?
R.A.: I had a big bidding war going on. Every single record label wanted me. I was nineteen, a young White kid that could rap better than everybody. So, they all wanted me. But, what it had turned into was, since every label wanted me, it stopped being about my music. It started being about what label had the biggest d*ck. Which label could lock me down. It became a competition rather than music, you know. And I made a mistake. I went to Jive Records.
See, I didn’t know the business end. I thought that if your music is good, then things just went well. I didn’t understand that you had the right machine behind you, with money in the right places, and you had to piggy back certain artists. I thought that the music drops, and people who know music will love it. I went to Jive, and they were good at selling records that were already broke. Like “Criminal Minded”; that had already came out, so they were able to blow up Boogie Down Productions for their second album. Same thing with Too Short. They weren’t able to do the street work. They were just able to take things to the next level after the street work was done. If I knew that they couldn’t do that, I would have went to Def Jam, because they were the best at that time at breaking any artist. I just went to the wrong label, that’s all.
AllHipHop.com: That actually leads to the final question. Many rumors surround you, and one that I heard involved you taking a sh*t on a desk at Jive Records’ offices. What kind of toilet paper did you use when you did that?
R.A.: [Laughs] That never happened. The rumor that I had heard was that I sh*tted on a studio board. Mobb Deep had told me that one. That I had sh*tted on the board, and did diarrhea all over it, cuz the engineer wasn’t mixing my song right. That sh*t never happened. There are so many rumors circulating about me, and half of them happened and half of them didn’t. I was a crazy motherf***er. I’m still wild, but now I’m a grown man. I’m a little different. It’s a different wild. I still fly off of the handle and can’t control myself. Back when I was that age, I used to not control myself at all. Whatever the situation was, I was gonna go off, smack people, and break sh*t. Piss on the floor of an office. But now, if I really lose it, it will be ugly. But I’m kind of learning how to maintain myself and not go that crazy.