Ras Kass

Controversial? Yes. Lyrical? Yes. Underrated? Are you even asking? I am extremely biased when it comes to Ras Kass... how biased? Biased enough to believe that he is one of the top 10 MC's breathing or six feet under. First, it's easy to disregard Ras because of the music he is making today (although it is far and in between). But, that's the equivalent of grading Cube, Nas, Snoop, Dre and countless others on their effort to "fit in" in today's day and age. This whole argument would fall apart without "Soul On Ice". One of the best west-coast albums ever made, bar none.
The one main argument against Ras Kass is his ear for beats, and I wholeheartedly agree that Ras Kass from 1997 and on is sometimes hard to listen to. Sometimes, meaning frequently. But the beats on "Soul On Ice" are nothing short of AIDS-ill. That was a very distinctive west-coast sound, and get this: Ras Kass co-produced the whole album! And I believe he choose/created the instrumentals damn near perfectly.. instead of Ras' flow complementing the beat, the beat complements his flow throughout. I feel that is special. But that's just Ras as a producer. My bias kicking in again, but I believe this album to be lyrically onpar with "Illmatic", "Doe Or Die" and "The Low End Theory". That is some elite company. Notice, I didn't say the lyricism was better than any of those albums, but it is equally as impressive as all of those albums.
But I agree that a dope MC has to have more than a good debut, even though I doubt Ras Kass could ever be looked at as a "one-hit wonder" type rapper. After his debut "Soul On Ice" came "Rasassination ", by no means a classic but a slightly above-average album considering the times. I was never a fan of "Ghetto Fabulous" Ras Kass, but this album has it's fair share of hidden gems that of course get overlooked. But I do agree, that this was a weak effort on Ras' part. After that came the unreleased "Van Gogh", which was his previous album part 2. Still, when he wasn't making songs for the ladies, he was dropping heat like "Goldyn Child" and "Hot Game".
After that it was "Institutionalized" part 1 and 2 both in the same year. And since 2005, Ras hasn't dropped anything but mixtapes. For a west coast vet of at least 12 years, Ras Kass has not released very much material.
Still, he deserves your attention, so stop being an insomniac and sleeping on Ras Kass!
Posted on 4:00 PM by Guy Fawkes and filed under , | 1 Comments »


Lyrikill said... @ October 15, 2008 at 5:58 PM

I know Ras is a lyrical genius, but after Game punched him in the face, i just lost all respect for him...not because Game whupped his ass, i mean Game is 6-4 and Razzy is like 5-2, but this asshole gets on youtube sayin 'yeah, i got a LITTLE black eye' smh