R.A. The Rugged Man Says Justin Timberlake Is "Not The Epitome Of Talent"
R.A. The Rugged Man criticizes those who conform for a paycheck as he breaks down his "Make You Famous" record.
“Make You Famous,” a song featured on Long Island rapper R.A. The Rugged Man’s Legends Never Die album, was the topic of conversation during the wordsmith’s appearance on Sway In The Morning earlier this week.
On the song, R.A. addresses what he views as the downfalls of popular culture. “Society's celebrity obsessed," he raps on the song. "Shock value, Janet pulling out a breast / Gaga wearing a meat maggot-infested dress / You don't need talent to be worshipped when you walk in a building / They'll praise you if you ain't shit, but you rich and your parents own the Hilton.”
The New York emcee again criticized those mentioned on the song as he questioned why reality stars including Kim Kardashian and heiress Paris Hilton are famous to begin with.
“We live in that society where it doesn’t matter if you have talent or if you’re anybody,” said R.A. “It doesn’t matter who you are. It’s the more popular celebrity person that will always get the recognition over true talent or true [anything]. It’s not even about talent anymore because they’ll just flock to whoever has some kind of status in any way. Even if they don’t do shit. Look at Kanye West’s wife or look at all of them. You know, ‘Oh, praise Kim Kardashian.’ What the fuck did she ever do for the world? Not just her. It’s hundreds of hers. Before her it was the Paris Hiltons. People become obsessed with these nobodies that have no talent. That don’t do shit."
During his interview with Sway, R.A. gave props to Tennessee crooner Justin Timberlake, but informed listeners that Timberlake’s fame as a singer stems from his looks and the fact that he’s a white artist who “can dance a little bit.” He also went on to state that the songster is not the epitome of talent when it concerns soul music.
“Take a kid like a Justin Timberlake” said the German, Scottish and Sicilian rapper. “He can sing. He can dance. He makes good music. He’s a talented kid. There’s no taking it away from him…On the flipside of that, I can name a lot of folks who can out sing circles around Justin Timberlake. But, he’s a good looking kid. He’s got a nice smile. Girls like him. And he can dance a little bit and he’s a white boy…We know that that’s not the epitome of talent, of R&B and soul.”
Lastly, R.A. clarified comments made about white accountants and business execs on “Make You Famous” and denounced those in Hip Hop who conform just to receive a quick check, a practice he feels is hurting the genre.
“Well, I said, ‘Don’t let white accountants and white business execs dictate your music,’” said R.A. The Rugged Man. “What I’m saying by that is—See what happens is they want you to make music a certain way because [it will] sell to certain crowds easily. So, what happens is the streets and the black kids in the streets that do Hip Hop conform to make music to get the paycheck. So, they’re changing the culture over getting a quick paycheck that white people write to them…Don’t let ‘em change the culture of Hip Hop just so you can get a check.”
Although R.A. got his break in Hip Hop at an early age, Legends Never Die only serves as the rapper’s second solo album. On the month of the release of Legends Never Die, the rapper spoke with Unkut.com about those at Jive Records and Def Jam wanting to keep his identity secret years ago.
“So when I first signed to Jive, and when Def Jam wanted to sign me, they all wanted to do it where nobody knew I was a white boy,” R.A. said. “They wanted me to keep the hood on my corner, because they knew I was respected amongst black folks.”