Hell Razah just released his new Album Razah’s Ladder yesterday on Babygrande. Its definitely a banger. We had a chance to talk with Razah last Friday. He had a lot to say regarding his new album, and he also let us in on some new projects he’s working on in the future. Big shout out to Alex from Killer Beez Promotions for hooking this up.
Metal Lungies: Hi, how are you doing?
HR: I’m good. I am alive and I thank God for that. I want to thank the Universal Father for breathing right now.
ML: You’ve got an album coming out soon and it’s very highly anticipated. Why are you releasing this album on Babygrande?
HR: The project is actually Blue Sky’s Black Death project featuring Hell Razah. I still work with Nature Sounds. I still have projects coming out through Nature Sounds and this is more of a collabo project. Blue Sky Black Death is already with Babygrande[sp]. It was more of a featuring thing for me. I just turned it into an album. Anything I touch — I am turning it into a classic.
ML: Why work with Blue Sky Black Death?
HR: I heard of them before and they sent me some beats . When I got the beats that they sent me, I was in love with the tracks. I heard 1 or 2 singles out of the beats they sent me. If they are sending me stuff right away that hits like that, then we can do a whole album. Me and Kingston just started talking about it and after that, he kept feeding me beats and it was over from there.
ML: Yeah, it really clicked creatively then.
HR: Yeah. They are definitely professional. I like working with brothers like that.
ML: Where did the album title come from. Razah’s Ladder?
HR: It originated from Jacob’s ladder. The title of the album came from the song, which was called, Razah’s Ladder. That was the first song we did. After we had 5 or 6 songs, we needed an album title so that we would know what direction we were going in. We were mixing it and then Kingston was like, “yo’! I think Razah’s Ladder”. I was like “Razah’s Ladder” let me see how that fits. From there it made sense because I already had a Heaven Razah project that I was working on. At the same time, I just used it as a parable, called Razah’s Ladder. In Genesis, Jacob had a dream and he saw the ladder. Then he saw angels ascending and descending. So that’s heaven and hell. My dream is dealing with the music. And heaven and hell and the angels that’s ascending and descending in the music business. That’s how you have hiarchies you have arch angels and dark business and we have war. Its like Armageddon in this world.
ML: You’ve gone with and independent [Babygrande] so you don’t have the common pit falls of many artists that have their albums pushed back and the rest of that stuff. None of those problems come up when you work with independent. You have more control over your project.
HR: Yeah. We definitely have control. Once they got a hold of the project, they just started moving. Once they got the master that was it for them. They was on the go like a baton – like a relay race.
ML: Very good, a lot of label support. You just released a video for the single Razah’s Ladder. What is the next single coming out on that album.
HR: The next single right now is the first single is what’s coming out. You’ve got Crooked I \ and Hell Razah called, Halos. The B side to that is Audiobiography, which is the song that’s featuring me and Shabazz the Disciple.
ML: Very good. We really enjoy Shabazz the Disciple. You have had a lot of collabos. Sunz of Man, vou’ve worked with Fourth Disciple, Black Market Militia. Besides this next album, do you have anymore Emcee collabos coming up?
HR: The next album is called the Heaven Razah’s project. It’s very selective, I am going to be really creative with that album and take my time on it. Its going to be a trilogy. I gave you Renaissance Child, Razah’s Ladder, then I am going to end it with the Heaven Razah’s project.
ML: You worked with a single producer on this album. Do you plan to follow that mode into the next album?
HR: Well, to answer the other question too — also, we got a video to Audiobiography with me and Shabazz the Disciple coming out too. That will be released on the day of the album. What was the question you just asked me?
ML: Will you be working with the single producer format in your next album?
HR: Oh. With the Heaven Razah’s album? No, because I’ve already got beats from Fourth, Blue Sky and God’s Wrath already — Ill Bill, and True Master. I am going to paint a picture out of what I’ve got. But its going to be a very creative. We’ve got a project called, Mad Mob that is featuring me and Ras. We’ re doing a duo album and Blue Sky and Black Death will be doing the beats for that. I’ve got different things going on. I m keeping it hip hop. You are going to see Hell Razah and Fourth Disciple come back with Article 2 called, Right to Bear Arms the Follow of Freedom of Speech. That’s me… that’s my concepts. I am bringing it back… its nothing new under the sun. This was done before when you had Eric B. and Rakim. You had Gang Starr with Guru and Premier. You had Pete Rock and CL Smooth. This is where I want to show the young heads and the young fans that’s just learning about hip hop, how I used to be and what it takes to be original and be creative and do certain things that are different sometimes. The people will love you the same way if you copied and followed people.
ML: Yes, it is certainly a time tested formula. You have worked with a lot of good producers. Who do you feel you’ve clicked the most with? Who’s your favorite?
HR: My Favorite?
HR: Wow. I don’t know. I like all of my producers for their uniqueness but, my favorite would have to be Fourth Disciple.
ML: Okay. Can you go over some of the tracks on your album? And give us some of the thoughts behind those tracks.
ML: Well, there’s one song on there called, The Pew. It’s a real deep song. A lot of people will like it because of the guitars and instruments that we’re playing with. The flow that I am using is non-stop and just keeps coming at you. It’s the type of song where you’ll sit there and want to play it over a couple of times. Then, I have another one that is crazy … it’s just instruments. Its really melodic. Kingston is just playing instruments. The name of that one is called, Merciful and its beautiful man. It’s like poetry. No drums — I wanted to do something different. I also like other tracks on the album. Audiobiography is already out. That’s a song that means a lot to me because I am speaking about me growing up, coming up in the music game and the hip hop world. In the streets and around projects and how I first got started. Who the people are that I first started with… That’s why it meant a lot for me to have Shabazz the Disciple on that record. We came into the game together. He introduced me to Wu-tang. We came together, so I wanted to take it back to square one. That’s why it’s called the Audiobiography. My favorite is Pray Together. Pray Together is something you can play at family events. That’s something you can play for grandmothers, mothers, fathers — it’s very mature. Its about the family that prays together, through good and bad times. It’s about sticking together and keeping the family tight. I think that’s the real jewel of the album. On that record, the last song is like a jewel. My favorites are the Interludes. My brotha Crown Prince Universal, he is a real Hebrew Israelite and he is very sincere about his work and his wisdom. He blessed the whole album. What he gave you was basically the answer to Jacobs Ladder. That is the hidden jewel of the whole Razah’s Ladder. It’s the fact that the Messiah is the ladder… and that Messiah – you all may know him as Jesus Christ or something like that. It’s really deep. What we are doing here in music and we’re just going to keep continuously making good music. We are going to be creative and very productive.
ML: Okay. That sounds like a very heartfelt message going through the whole album. You talked earlier about hooking up with Wu-tang. Are we going to look to see any other collaborations on this album? Who are some more of your features on this album?
HR: We’ve got Ill Bill, Sabac Red, Prodigal Sun from the Sunz of Man. Me and Prodigal have a history. We’ve been through a lot with holding up the Sunz of Man and keeping the name strong –we held it together. We held it down and that is so important. If you hear the lyrics in Audiobiography, Shabazz says you have to deal with Atlantic records. We had a plan to introduce The Fan. We featured Prodigal and Razah the Birth of the Sunz of Man. So the Sunz of Man was really me and Prodigal, understand? Then, Sixty Second was with Brooklyn Zoobbut, his lyrical content was Sunz of Man. Even though Brooklyn Zoo was Brooklyn Zoo with Sunz of man too but, Sunz of Man was that righteous rap — righteous gangster rap. …Sixty was very harmonical. I wanted to get him on the album but I could not get him in time. But, you’ll hear him though on the Heaven Razah. I am definitely going to have to get Sixty, snatch him up and have him on that. Like I was saying, that’s the song called Written in Blood, Prodigal Son. Ill Bill just threw me some crazy beats. We are working together. Project Prophecy is just a banger. It’s that gritty, grime banger. It’s going to be that crazy hard core rap. A lot of fans are going to eat that up. They are going to love that. Basically, that was it – that’s a wrap.
ML: You spoke about Prodigal Son and Sixty Second Assassin. Will we see another Sunz of Man album?
HR: Its building up. When everybody is ready to do it, I think it will be done. Right now, every body is doing individual work. But, at the same time, we are still working together doing projects and will start releasing a lot of work. We just need a real good outlet…that’s what we need… a real good distributor. If they want to contact us, they can reach us by http://myspace.com/razahrubiez. Or you can come and see me at www.hell-razahonline.com and email me from there. Get at us man. If you want to book us for shows — whatever things that want to go on, then let’s get it going. We’ve got a lot of projects. We’ve got a lot of music but we don’t want to just have it keep going through these outlets where it’s doing 5,000 to 10,000. We need a bigger outlet now because we’ve got good music and we don’t need it to go to waste.
ML: You are definitely not averse to signing on to a major?
HR: Yeah. Right now these projects are coming out through Indies, so we are building up our independent status so that majors will want to deal with us. So any majors that’s looking for the next new, futuristic music record label that’s got a future… We’ve got it… It’s over here!
ML: You’re looking to gain a much wider audience. You have a very heartfelt, but also very street sound. Do you feel that it will carry over?
HR: Yeah. That’s what the people need sometimes. If you think about it, anything that you hear on the radio will come to life. If they play circus music all day, then you will like circus music. If they played Egyptian music, then you will like Egyptian music. It’s all programmed to play whatever it is that they control. There is a whole realm of this type of music. You have music out there that is probably even more spiritual and more crazier than the level we are on. It doesn’t only exist on the radio. That’s why you got satellite radio, internet radio, online radio stations — because now its changing. People want to feel… when we used to hear music, we used to hear, [rapping] “It’s like a jungle sometimes it make me wonder how I keep from going under”. That was heartfelt and you felt that… [rapping] “broken glass everywhere…” When Mele Mel spoke, you felt that in your heart. That’s what hip hop was. With KRS-One…[rapping] “Criminal minded … you’ve been blinded…” that was heartfelt — it was how he felt. There wasn’t no dancing around and all of that. Even though you still had dancers though. Big Daddy Kane, one of the best lyricists out there, had dancers, but lyrically he was killin’ it. Kool G Rap had two of the illest dancers, Shawn and Kenny. With G Rap, the shit he was talking was like … you didn’t even realize he had dancers. But now, the music is the dancers. When you have that on the radio all day, that’s all you are going to get. Other music still exists – it’s just that time has to come around. The time is coming where labels are going to have to start signing more conscience and positive rappers. That’s where we are at… that’s when they have to come to us. This is what we do. We’ve been doing it. It’s not a gimmick, we came in like that.
ML: Yeah. The one hit wonder fad can only go so far. We are going to switch over to some questions now… Some more recent stuff. You are in New York City for CMJ Week, right? Anything special planned for this week? Are you doing any concerts or big shows because you’ve got an album coming out very soon?
HR: Yeah. We have a signing… we have a couple of in-stores. We’re going to be at the top shops like Vokinas and Phat Beats. We’re also going to be in Boston. You’re going to start seeing me around a lot now. This time I am going to come out and talk to the fans.
ML: Any shows in the Maryland Area?
HR: No. I would love to get out there, so if you have any contacts or show promoters that want to holla at Razah – and get him down here– all you have to do is email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can talk business. You can deal with my managers and we’ll square it off. I would definitely love to get down there.
ML: Yeah. We would certainly love to go to one of your shows. Do you follow sports?
HR: With who?
ML: With sports. What’s your favorite sport?
HR: My season is coming up right now. It’s the NBA baby, you know that.
ML: What’s your team?
HR: This year, right now?
HR: I don’t know, Boston’s looking real good right now man. Kevin Garnet, Ray Allen, Paul Pitts. The east is looking bigger than the west now.
ML: You don’t hear that much – New Yorkers going with Boston.
HR: Yeah. New York is still…yeah, I’m going to be at 1 or 2 games… I’ve got season tickets for some of that shit, so I’ll be there for some of those games. You know the Knicks is New York. I’m in New York and I am going to check them out but you know you’ve got your other teams. Kevin Garnet is crazy he should have been had a ring. The Timberwolves have a good center. They have a shooter. It’s going to be hot overthrew. Trust me, Boston is going to be a problem this year.
ML: Between NBA Live ‘08 and NBA 2K, which one are you going to get? My personal choice is 2K but…
HR: Oh, I already have 2008 for Play Station 3.
ML: Nice choice.
HR: For X-Box 360, I rock Madden ‘08 and 2008 on PS 3 because the graphics…
ML: No football All-star. That ’08 game with all All-stars and no franchise teams? *Laughs* I don’t really like that one because you can’t play with licensed teams.
HR: Yeah, I’ve seen it. I downloaded the demo but I wasn’t really feeling it. But Madden is Madden… it was a good idea. I may get it once its played out a little while. But right now, I’ve got to have the main joints: Madden, Halo 3… that’s hip-hop too. We’ve got music on Saint’s Row. It’s a video game called Saint’s Row on the X-Box 360 and we’ve got black market songs on there. They’re doing a Saint’s Row Part 2 for the 360 and we’re going to have more music on that.
ML: That’s good. I love that game. That was a good game with a great sound track.
HR: Saint’s Row right?
ML: Yeah. Another question we’d like to ask is what was the very last thing you bought? It could be anything.
HR: What was the last who?
ML: The last thing you bought. The last thing you purchased.
HR: The last thing I purchased? When?
ML: Right now, today, what was the very last thing you bought?
HR: Wow. Ahh… a box of Dutches…?
ML: Nice *Both Laughing* All right. Thanks a lot for doing this interview with us and we definitely look forward to the album. There have been no push backs for the album, the album is still coming out on the date set right?
HR: Yeah, its solid man — October 23rd. Go and buy Blue Sky Black Death Presents the Razah’s Ladder Featuring: Hell Razah, Ill Bill, Crooked I, Shabazz the Disciple, Prodigal Sunn, and Sabac Red, all right. That’s how we’re doing it. We’re layin’ it down… Hell Razah a.k.a. Razah Rubies… Go get the Renaissance Child if you haven’t got it because then you won’t understand the Razah’s Ladder. So, go get the Renaissance Child – if you got it already, then I know that you are already prepared and waiting. And the Razah’s Ladder is going to take you to that next level all right so… I want to thank everybody that’s been supporting me… that have been buying all the music that we’ve been putting out… that bought all of the Sunz of Man records… you know, those that have been supporting us since day one. I’m going to keep putting out that good music. That’s what I’m about. So, I’m going to keep it positive… positive righteous gangsters, warriors of God… and we’re gonna keep fighting off wickedness and evil throughout the music and however else we’ve got to do it… That’s how we do it… ghetto government officials… mad mob is in the building and that’s how its going down tonight and I want to thank everybody for showing their love.
ML: We’ll definitely pick that one up. We’ll lookout for you other projects too. Thank you so much for doing the interview.
HR: No doubt man. Make sure you play that Audiobiography video, Hell Razah featuring Shabazz the Disciple man its crazy.
ML: I’ll post that up with the interview.
ML: All right. Thank you so much for the interview and you have a great night. Enjoy all the festivities in New York.
HR: Hey man thanks a lot, you too…
ML: Thanks. Have a great night.
HR: All right. Good bye… peace
Video for Razah’s new single Audiobiography feat. Shabazz the Disciple
You can cop the new album here.
Look out for more interviews with Wu-Tang Affiliates.