#Mescalontheside: RA The Rugged Man in LA
Stepping out my $30 Uber SUV feeling like a god damn rock star with my entourage consisting of girlfriend, her co-workers and a few drunk friends from the block. I look up and see my name on the marquee just under RA The Rugged Mans name and I know, shits about to go down.
I notice a good early crowd which is always encouraging, its a quarter to 10pm and already its looking packed. Im scheduled for 10:30pm on the outside stage but when does a hip hop show ever run on time. So I casually make my way to the bar and order a few free beers with my complimentary drink tickets, but since they're free they only allow you to get the cheap shit. I shout at the bartender to bring me a shot of Jack Daniels Whiskey to loosen me up.
I walk out to the smoking patio where the outside stage is located and see a familiar face, Hollow Visions is performing. And immediately after I stand in front of the stage to take it all in, I see more and more friends and homies filling up the crowd.
Before long its my turn to hit the stage. By now its about 10:33pm and we damn near ran right on time which is a rarity in our business. From my view on the stage I can see a decent crowd in front of me, another slightly larger crowd packed in the bottom half of the outside patio which is fenced in and then at the top of the smoking patio I can see another large crowd of smokers and listeners. Some looking directly at me, others talking and socializing obviously uninterested in the opening acts, you can tell they are only here to see one person, RA The Rugged Man. But it's my time so they're gonna have to listen to the shit I have to say.
I do what I do, starting off my performance with 5 songs in under 5 minutes, a routine me and DJ Survive perfected in our training for the $1000 MC Competition earlier in May. The crowd was electrified. Even the people at the top, who were furthest from the stage were raising their hands and acknowledging my commands from the mic. It was truly an amazing feeling to have all eyes on me and the crew consisting of Mad Macks, Mike Real, Survive and Hollow with special guest Killa Teck who came up to rock one of our classic cuts "Summertime High"
After my performance I'm drained and dripped in sweat in need of another tasty refreshment and now ready to fully embrace the night and witness RA The Rugged Man...
By the time RA hit the stage, which was about 11:20pm I'd say, the top of the Airliner Bar was packed, hot and rowdy. I got up to the top a little late so I lounged close to the bar and the crowd was packed up to the point of the exit. A mixed crowd of punk style looking white dudes, graffiti writing and LA hat sporting latinos and a few black brothers scattered in the mix. I always like to look at the crowd, I'm less concern with how many people follow a person, Im more interested in who. RA's fan base stretches passed generations, with fans looking as young as 21 and many seasoned 30+ year old heads who knew every word to his shit.
RA began the show with a few acapellas as DJ Indiginous worked out the kinks (a reoccurring theme of the night) to the sound system. Once the sound got up to par then the madness began with RA bulldozing his way thru his extensive catalog and getting the crowd super hyped.
At one point RA said "its the year 2016, it dont matter what decade I take it, even 2020, 2030, 2050 til the day I die I'll be one of the nicest muthafuckers on planet Earth."
And he backed up that statement letting his fans shout of the decade they wanted him to perform tracks from, the 2010's the 2000's or the Golden Era 90's, it was no surprise what they chose, the 90's...
RA The Rugged Man's breathe control, poise, stage presence and pure energy was something to behold, by the time the night was through I had to reflect and rank RA as one of the top performers I've ever had the pleasure of witnessing and this night will live in my memory for a long time. As an MC its humbling and inspiring when you see someone like RA and I only hope to continue and represent the way he and legends like him have for Hip Hop.
Photo Credit: @theunity.project on IG
Event Hosted and Brought to you by: www.americanrevolverla.com
Check em out- I heard they are planning another even in JULY! Who might they have this time? We'll see.
-Written in a good place by Mescalito