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R.A. The Rugged Man | Interview

R. A. The Rugged Man is an emcee, filmmaker, and journalist from Long Island, NY. His father, Staff Sgt. John A. Thorburn, was a Vietnam veteran affected by Agent Orange. His brother was born handicapped and blind, and his sister could not walk or speak. At age 18, R.A. signed a deal with Jive Records and later signed with Priority Records in the mid-1990s. His contract was acquired by Capitol Records, but R.A. was recording independently in the early 2000s. He has worked with The Notorious B.I.G., Mobb Deep, Sadat X, Chuck D, Jedi Mind Tricks, Kool G Rap, KRS-One, and more. He has been featured on all three Rawkus Soundbombing albums, as well as the platinum-selling WWF Aggression album. In 2004, R.A. released the album, Die, Rugged Man, Die. In 2006, he told his father’s story in the Jedi Mind Tricks song “Uncommon Valor: A Vietnam Story”, which The Source featured as “Hip-Hop Quotable” of the month and HipHopDX named it “Verse Of The Year”. R.A. wrote a monthly movie column for Mass Appeal Magazine, was a contributor to Ego Trip’s Book of Rap Lists and Big Book Of Racism, and has written numerous articles for other magazines. In addition, he has written three screenplays with director Frank Henenlotter and is the writer/producer of a Henenlotter film called Bad Biology with production by Prince Paul and cameos by Playboy model Jelena Jensen and Penthouse Pet Krista Ayne. R.A. is working on documentary based on his family called God Take, God Give, and has released his second studio album, Legends Never Die.

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