R.A. The Rugged Man sparked a social media debate last month after he outlined what makes Logic better than Joe Budden, a brutally outspoken critic of the “1-800-273-8255” rapper. Although some labeled his argument as “mad corny,” there were just as many — if not more — who agreed with the veteran New York MC.
During a recent interview with Hard Knock TV (his first in two years), Logic returned the sentiment and praised R.A.’s latest release All My Heroes Are Dead, which arrived in April.
“Have you even listened to R.A. The Rugged Man’s last album?” he asks around the seven-minute mark. “It’s incredible. This is a grown man talking about his daughter. Like the way R.A. The Rugged Man … yo, shout out to R.A. I always look at R.A. when he’s on the mic like he’s a piece of shit killer. Like he’s just comes in and whatever — he just splurges and it’s poetic and beautiful and unapologetic.
“But when I hear him talking about his daughter and sampling her voice and shit like that, I’m like, ‘Yo, this is incredible.’ And R.A. has a huge fanbase, he really does. He can tour all over the world. There’s people who love that genre of Hip Hop. He calls himself the boom bap rapper and he doesn’t give a fuck and all this shit, which I really love and appreciate about him. I think he’s fantastic.”
When Hard Knock TV host Nick Huff Barili calls All My Heroes Are Deada “slept-on” album, Logic questions why that is.
“Why can he drop an album that’s that great where he talks about … I forgot what the fucking song is called; it’s so incredible … this school shooter kid who goes into this ice cream shop or something and he’s just shooting fucking people up. It made me want to cry and throw up at the same time. It’s beautiful. He talks about growing up and getting older and the shit he used to do and where he is now.
“I mean, it’s just fucking incredible. But why isn’t that celebrated on the ‘popular’ level? I’m just being real. Such flows, such rhyme schemes, punchlines — I mean, he spent so much time and effort on the album.”
Then Logic mentions he’s “pretty sure” R.A. hit him up to be on the album, but he explained he was in a strange headspace.
“I was going through some shit at the time and I couldn’t even fucking do it,” he says. “Now I regret it but not really because I needed my own time. But we gotta do something if you watchin’ this. We’ve been talking about it for a long time to make it happen. That’s one dude.”
R.A., who’s currently based in Berlin, Germany, is still heavily promoting All My Heroes Are Dead despite not being able to tour as the COVID-19 pandemic continues its rampage. The 22-track project features from Ice-T, Kool G Rap, Onyx, Public Enemy’s Chuck D, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck and Brand Nubian (yes, Lord Jamar included).
During an interview with HipHopDX in April, R.A. admitted some of his older material might not work in 2020, but he’s figured out a way to adapt to the climate.
“I said terrible things that I’m like, ‘Eh, I wouldn’t say that today,” he said. “That actually wasn’t right,'” he admits. “Like, this one might hit people the wrong way, because I was doing shock value and stuff, but I don’t regret it. It’s like my whole thing was to go against everything and everybody and society, and say shit that hurt people who were hurt easily by words. That was what I was going to do — be ignorant. That was what I was going for as a kid.
“Then you get older, and you go, ‘Oh, you could fight society not with bad words, but you could fight them with all kinds of words.’ You could actually use the words to teach and smack them in the fucking head with things they don’t want the world to know. There’s other ways to shock it and beat them in the head, too. And a little bit of life lessons and age could change your worldview a little bit, and through the years, everybody changes their worldview. If you don’t, you’re an idiot.”
Last week, R.A. dropped off a visual for the track “All Systems Go.” Check it out below.