Sadat X, R.A. The Rugged Man & Thirstin Howl Are Proud Industry Outcasts (Video)
Over 17 years ago, Rawkus Records released Soundbombing 2. That LP, a Top 30 on the Pop charts, helped further the ongoing introductions of Eminem, Dilated Peoples, High & Mighty, Company Flow, and others to the masses. An elite independent label at the time, Rawkus (then home to Mos Def, Talib Kweli, and Pharoahe Monch) would re-present talented veterans as well.
One of the earliest people the Manhattan-based label got down with was R.A. The Rugged Man. While the Long Island lyricist had built a reputation for his incidents with labels in the past (namely Jive Records), Rawkus was a great 12″ vinyl and compilation platform to help the mandible machine gun put out product on songs like “Stanley Kubrick.” Additionally, as Grand Puba broke out as the first solo star of Brand Nubian, Rawkus joined the efforts to show just how dope Sadat X was, care of video singles like the Common-assisted “1-9-9-9.” Thirstin Howl III (a/k/a Thirstin Howl The 3rd) was then a Brooklyn, New York street figure making lots of noise, thanks to his early collaboration “Watch Dees” with Eminem and DJ Spinna. He too, joined the fold (“Brooklyn Hard Rock”) on a compilation album that still bangs.
Last month, Sadat X released Agua. One of the highlights of Derek X’s first release with Tommy Boy is “Industry Outcasts.” Joining longtime collaborator R.A. as well as Thirsty, the three MCs bask in their personalities, unique styles, and refusal to conform. What once alienated them in the Rap game is probably the same reason that all three of these artists are as active and prolific as ever—long after Soundbombing 2 and Rawkus. The video is shot in front of Sean Price’s Brooklyn mural. Passing away one year ago yesterday (August 8), P! is another golden example of why outcasts outlast.
#BonusBeat: Thirstin Howl III was a recent guest on N.O.R.E. & DJ EFN’s Drink Champs Podcast:
Agua is available in all formats now.