Rah Digga Takes The Stage & Delivers That Realness That’s Been Missing From Hip-Hop (Video)

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Hip-Hop was born as a live format. For years, DJs and MCs’ sole focus was literally to move the crowd. Over the years, as acts began to lay their rhymes on wax, the art of performing began to take a backseat to records, video production and other aspects of the music. To be sure, there are still performers like The Roots, Common, Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole, to name a few, who still put on great shows, but it has become increasingly rare.

Last night, at A3C 2017 in Atlanta, however, Rah Digga put on a performance filled with the rugged and raw energy of the best shows. Digga followed strong outings by Lyric Jones, Shabaam Sahdeeq and others, but when she stepped to the stage, she owned it. The Newark, New Jersey MC began with a verse over the thunderous beat Just Blaze cooked up for JAY-Z on “P.S.A.” From there, she ripped through a number of party-starters from her Flipmode and Dirty Harriet days.

As pleasing as those selections were to the crowd, the energy went to another level when Digga reached into her bag of tricks and pulled out a couple of more recent tracks. 2014’s “Angela Davis,” with its message of empowerment and the need for MCs to take more pride in their craft, was particularly resonant in an era where lyricism has been pushed to the background. “Call me Angela Davis / In my all black floating through the Matrix / They like, ‘Digga, can you save us?’ / When did lyricism escape us?,” she rapped.

The show reached its peak, however, with Digga’s performance of “I Ain’t Neva Lied.” The song’s chorus says it all: “I ain’t neva lie, eva, eva, eva lie / I ain’t neva lie foreva eva I / Real spit, as real as real get / Tryin’ to put y’all all up on some real sh*t.

A3C 2017 continues through October 8, when Nas takes the stage to close out the festival.

#BonusBeat: Rah Digga’s lost album Everything Is A Story, featuring production by J Dilla, Just Blaze, Hi-Tek, Large Professor, DJ Scratch, No I.D., Scott Storch, Jake One, and more, and guest verses from Ghostface Killah, Mobb Deep, Fabolous, Snoop Dogg, Lloyd Banks, B.R., Joe Budden, and others.

Digga self-released the longtime shelved LP, intended for J Records in the early 2000s.