Ras Kass’ Sons Destroy Mics Just Like He Does

This summer, the Hip-Hop quartet Coast Contra is on a rapid rise. The collective of Ras Austin, Taj Austin, Rio Loz, and Eric Jamal has been releasing songs alongside Tobe Nwigwe, Ciara, and BJ The Chicago Kid amid the release of their LP, Apt. 505. Dave Chappelle also personally requested that Coast Contra open for him at his Hollywood Bowl performance. The high-energy collective draws from Los Angeles, California (Taj and Ras are the twin sons of Teedra Moses and Ras Kass), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s Eric Jamal, and the Colombian-born Loz. These 2022 developments follow an appearance on 2019’s acclaimed and charting Queen & Slim soundtrack.

Much like Odd Future in the early 2010s, Coast Contra’s breakthrough moment may have come through television. The foursome made their TV debut on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (embedded below). In June, they performed the “Never Freestyle,” and raised awareness to talent that has been bubbling since they linked in 2016. Even before that, Taj and Ras were working with their dad, including coverage on Ambrosia For Heads.

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Since the Fallon look and onslaught of new music, Coast Contra appeared on Cosmic Kev’s platform to deliver an exceptional freestyle that lasts for nearly 15 minutes. With Eric being a Philly native, it’s only right that the quartet blesses the 215 mainstay DJ’s The Come Up Show—where no pens or pads are allowed.

Taj kicks things off, rapping over Benny’s “Crowns For Kings” (as produced by the late DJ Shay). He spits potent bars such as “It’s been a hard time and long grind, and I can’t forsake the rest / By design, I programmed my mind to eliminate the best / Is it an agoraphobic trait to stay in first-place? Yes / ‘Cause a loss I cannot accept, had a profound concept,” before referring to being a “chip off the old block.” In the ensuing bars, he makes allusions to Allen Iverson, Big L, avoiding sugary drinks, and valuing himself.

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Ras raps next, as the Contra shouts out Teedra and Ras. “It’s been a dream for so long, Kev, to reach this place with my dogs / A dream you hold on too long to, it’ll test ya faith with ya God / ‘Cause they don’t know the tears that we shed, the shakes, the withdrawals / I was fiendin’, pipe-dreamin’, spittin’ crack through my jaw / My back on the wall, reality checks, was payin’ the cost / I’m payin’ my dues, my inner-demons wagin’ a war / Los angelin’, Los Angeles, where ni**as halos is bought,” he spits at the onset. Like his brother, he raps about the sincerity of kicking their way into the music industry. The whole crew laughs and smiles as they impress one another, as well as Kev.

Rio raps next, with a matched intensity. “Smooth operator, deeper than Tomb Raider / Soul liberator, I’m God’s translator / Call it what you, loc, I’m young and gettin’ my paper,” before Jamal takes the mic next. As the beat changes to a Trap vibe, Eric slides into the pocket. “Every punchline on the beat get felt / And I can’t be beat until I beat myself,” he spits.

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Refusing to waste the moment, the four MCs decide to go again, making for one of the finest freestyle moments of 2022—in a year that will see Coast Contra’s stock soar.

#BonusBeat: Coast Contra performs “Never Freestyle” and “Legacy” on Fallon: