By Dylan Deprey
The first snowfall of the year was no match for Hip-Hop fans to crowd the Miramar stage on Milwaukee’s Eastside for a taste of real New York Hip-Hop. World renowned wordsmith RA the Rugged Man and his insanely lyrical protégé All Flows Reach Out (AFRO) shook the Miramar Sat. Dec. 10.
Brew City Beats & So Greedy presented the show, and it was by was the first on a 35-stop tour across the country.
The Long Island legend RA the Rugged Man has had nearly three decades of experience in the rap industry. He has worked with highly respected artists and innovators like The Notorious B.I.G, Mobb Deep, Kool G Rap, the Wu Tang Clan, as well as producers from across the map including Erik Sermon, DJ Quik and the Alchemist.
“I remember back in 1992 running the streets of Brooklyn with this guy Christopher Wallace (Notorious B.I.G). We were freestyling and battling anybody, but you already know who he was,” RA said to the crowd.
While carrying the title of putting on some of the craziest live shows in Hip-Hop history, RA the Rugged Man stayed true to his roots. Whether it was pulling random beat boxers from the audience to freestyle over, continuing his set for almost four songs over while walking in and out of the crowd, or almost insinuating a riot having the entire crowd mosh pit. The energy was like none other.
During the 70-minute set, RA was accompanied by the lyrical wizardry of 18-year-old L.A. rapper AFRO. RA reminisced about how only a couple years prior, AFRO was just a kid rapping his heart out on YouTube videos back in 2014.
AFRO has two projects under his belt
“Now the kid is getting gigs I can’t even get, he’s on jimmy Fallon. I don’t see Jimmy Fallon calling me up,” RA said.
Although AFRO may look like a big teddy bear with an even bigger afro, his bassy voice and ability to rhyme extremely complex words syllable-by-syllable could be considered rap genius.
Still fresh into his music career, AFRO said he was surprised at the amount of love he got from the crowd.
“I’ve never been here, and I didn’t even know if I had any fans in Milwaukee, so it is cool to come here and see the love. It was one of those ‘Who would’ve thought Milwaukee,” AFRO said.
Local Milwaukee rappers YODOT, Ar Wesley and Mike Regal also had the opportunity to share the stage and open for the show.
All of the artists’ sound had a new school flavor spun by DJ Main Key, and combined with their lyrics and energetic stage presence, they had a crowd of old school boom bap fans jumping along with them.
Ar Wesley invited local singer Kyndall J to perform the song “Ignorant Art” from his recently released mixtape “The Self Portrait Vol. 2.” Mike Regal also invited rappers Cool Tay, Larry Bull and Camb which also featured live drums.
“Sometimes these younger guys can bring out a bigger crowd then the headliner,” said Antoine Mack of So Greedy Ent.
It was Mike Regal’s last show in Milwaukee before he moves out to Las Vegas for an opportunity to focus on his music career. He said he was honored to perform before a notable Hip-Hop lyricist RA the Rugged Man.
“I remember when I was performing and there was nobody there other than my mom, my sister and a couple of other people, so anything that comes my way is always an advancement, but to perform before a hip-hop legend is a blessing,” Regal said.