R.A the Rugged Man’s live show can be likened to his music and lyrical content. They’re both cutting edge, visceral and demand instant attention. He gives everything he has to the crowd and expects the same back. It’s only right considering how long Rugged Man has been in the game that his intense energy is reciprocated and this is something made sure of by the audience gathered in the Sugar Club to see him tonight.
Mr. Green opens the show with a selection of stellar mixes, including classic acapellas over newer beats. His live scratching throughout the night is crisp and adds to the already authentic feel the entire set has. The position of the DJ in live shows has become less prominent over the years, but Mr. Green shows exactly why everyone is better off with competent hands on the wheels of steel.
R.A is joined by a young emcee by the name of AFRO (All Flows Reach Out). The two rappers trade bars and stage time, resulting in a show packed full of energy that is seemingly endless. The combination of a seasoned veteran and highly skilled newcomer results in the perfect mix of the familiar and unfamiliar. The crowd gives the same passionate response to both, unfazed by how well they know the song being performed.
The rowdy atmosphere R.A can generate amongst his fans is unrivalled. Whether it’s through compliments, insults or simple chanting he knows how to get his point across. His rapid delivery never falters either. Two songs in and he’s reciting ‘Definition of a Rap Flow’ as if he has something to prove to the Irish audience.
Getting ’10’ people on the stage (it was closer to 30 than anything) and having them jump off at once may seem like an idea that has too many bad outcomes to go ahead with. However, the love and respect shared by the crowd ensured that none got seriously hurt. That is aside from one girl who broke her nose. However she later told R.A himself that it was the best night of her life and you can’t really find fault in that.
R.A the Rugged Man has been active since the early 90s, so it’s not surprising how good his show actually is. He takes music very seriously and makes sure to have all the classic elements of a good hip hop show incorporated into his own. The 90 minute show is a well oiled machine, but it retains an air of spontaneity, thanks to Rugged Man’s charisma and ability to set the pace. If only every hip hop show shared the same energy and passion as this one.