Never heard of R-A The Great? Born in Cleveland Ohio, he has been making music for as long as he can remember. Growing up in the 90’s he honed his skills in back alley battles and street corner cyphers. All for the love of the sport. Fast forward to a world where independent music is the way to go, he decided to share his crafty skills with like-minded people that value the bars over the beats.
His single, ‘Nine to Nine’ fully explores his clearly limitless creative boundaries. The track features R-A The Great’s deep raps flowing perfectly with the electro-hip hop beat. The soft piano melodies and supporting drums tie the song together perfectly, and sets a mid-tempo tune that soothes the soul and feeds the mind, as the artist hands out anecdotes of humanity and wisdom.
R-A The Great chooses the essential basic real-life directives to bring to the world – grind hard, spread love, truth and faith. The love that transpires throughout the track, is that for existence, for fellow man, and for self. ‘Nine to Nine’ describes the rapper’s worldview boldly, keeping his messages easy to digest but bursting with deep meaning. It’s for all those people grinding hard to make an honest living.
R-A The Great starts off the conversation with an early probing truth about our flaws: “Niggas be worried about the next man’s pockets, next man’s shoes, next man’s polish, next man’s moves. Well shit, if you’re not paying the next man’s dues, why the fuck you so worried about what the next man do?”
R-A The Great understands life’s dichotomies and juxtapositions; if the world is capable of sorrow and joy, then we need to make sure we’re ready for both, to face the darkness and to revel in the beauty. “I know the road is bumpy, the load is tiring, but try to stay focused and never lose your drive, man. When life is hard to handle, just put the wheel in God’s hands,” raps R-A The Great.
R-A The Great is a powerful lyricist, with an innate ability to transform real life situations and persona meditations into a consistent pen game. He uncovers our shortcomings, and points us in positive direction. Moreover, his vision is clear. R-A The Great digs deep on ‘Nine to Nine’, over a slapping but smooth beat, which ebbs and flows with the intensity of his voice and flow.
The thing that is really striking about R-A The Great, as a rapper, is his rhythmic diligence. His wordplay is captivating, and his lyrics are highly intriguing, but the way he comes through with a flow that interacts with the beat and has a superb sense of attack, is mesmerizing. ‘Nine to Nine’ does this perfectly; the drums sit at the front of the mix with R-A The Great, giving the track a soulful invigoration with his impeccable delivery.
R-A The Great is an emcee with serious chops, not just as one of the most potent and subtly charismatic rappers I’ve heard in some time, but also proving himself as a thoughtful and hard-hitting presence. His bars connect, and he’s got a fantastic command of his craft.
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