A reader put me on to this guy a few weeks back and, since then, a few more friends I grew up with have alerted me to him.
This is an interesting one. Rast is a dude from Downtown Manhattan who started the Graffiti crew/gang RFC that was very prevalent during my years growing up in Greenwich Village. In fact, I’m fairly certain one of these times I got robbed, it was by a few of their members. I could be wrong about that but I do vaguely recall that name being thrown around during the mugging. Whatever the case, that crew definitely had a name for itself in downtown Manhattan. While , looking at him, Rast’s face doesn’t ring a bell, a friend reminded me of the one time he came to my house and allegedly stole a bunch of coin rolls I had wrapped up , ready to be taken to the bank. I say allegedly cause I honestly don’t remember it but it’s certainly possible cause I think I bought weed off him and you never know. Whatever the case, he was around. Flash forward to 2014 (this is basically 20 years later) and I find out he’s now rapping and writing. His stories are pretty nuts. If you got time, I highly suggest you read this:
I gotta say, being from that area , during that era, I feel as though he paints a picture of the village as a war zone. I’d argue that it wasn’t anything like that but, hey, I also wasn’t doing dirt back then. I also knew to avoid the corners that he hung on so maybe that’s part of it too. Walking by the West 3rd street Mcdonald’s in 1993 was definitely a terrible life choice for anyone who wanted to keep their wallets/hats/sneakers.
Anyway, turns out he’s got an album
Now, at first listen, I definitely felt it was some home made demo steeze cause…well, it is. The vocals sound recorded on lap top speakers and the beats, while actually kinda dope, seem firmly planted in 1990. That’s not a bad thing cause that’s pretty much my favorite era of hip hop but I could see those two things bothering younger listeners.
As for the rapping, on first listen, he sounded sloppy. That’s partially the recording though. He also sings. A lot. But not on some Brian Mcknight shit. He’s very reminiscent of early 50 Cent. The more I listened, it all started clicking for me. This is some serious DIY shit done for no other reason but to vent and be heard. He’s a former thug with lots of stories to tell. Sure, it’s a little weird to speak of downtown like he does , after all, it was a somewhat affluent area filled with artists and yuppies in the early 90’s (the artists have since left). But, I suppose , the way he lived down here dictated how he saw it.
I kinda expect most of you to not like this. Mostly cause you guys have proven to not be into thuggy shit , as well as the recording quality might not be up to snuff for all you dicks that complain about bit rates. But I think you should give him a chance cause, if nothing else, this guy delivers a clear snap shot into a very particular time in place in NYC history. One I can honestly say no rapper has ever really touched on.