Independent Spotlight: Big Raw

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What’s good, people? As you already know, 2009 is the year of the Independent Artist here at nappyafro.com. We are committed to becoming the BEST Hip-Hop site ever created. Allow me to introduce ya’ll to Big Raw, a rapper reppin’ both North New Jersey & Albany, NY. Matter of fact, I met this up-and coming star in a barbershop in Albany!

It was Friday, the day before prom, so I went to the barbershop to get a fresh cut. I was in the chair and the guy was edging me up as Jadakiss’ new album was playing. I heard him say, “You heard this shit? How he spits hard lyrics over a club beat for the ladies? That’s what my sound is like.” I was curious, so I asked him his MySpace and if I could do an Independent Spotlight on him. He said yes, so I checked out his song, and true to his name, it’s RAW!

First, I want to shoot a quick biography about him: he was born in a Muslim household in New Jersey, and lived a fairly well off life due to his family’s restaurant business. However, later in life his family was forced to moved to Vailsberg Section of Newark, NJ, their wealth suddenly stripped away from him. Big Raw had to learn how to maneuver in the grim area he lived in, and eventually became a successful street hustler. Over 17 years, he was in 14 correction facilities in two states, New York and New Jersey (Damn). He’s got the credentials of a veteran in the rap game: he’s opened for acts such as Ja Rule, Nas, Foxy Brown, Jadakiss, Jim Jones, and Juelz Santana since 1999. Big Raw cites his main influences being Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, Scarface, and Kool G Rap.

He effortlessly changes song styles from club hits like “Bounce it Out” to emotional tracks like “Mommy Forgive Me”, to straight up bangers like “Behind the Wall” and “Take a Number”. “Behind the Wall” and “Mommy Forgive Me” both really impressed me: besides incredible beat that’s on “Behind the Wall”, the lyrics are really deep and hard too. The hook sums it up perfectly: “Let me take all of ya’ll behind the wall/Where hustlers and crooks are confined to fall/Some crawl while other guys decide to ball/I’m the real deal, tell me what side is ya’ll?” Meanwhile, “Mommy Forgive Me” is a more laid back track completely with pianos on the beat too. Here, Big Raw gets personal about his life with his family and asks his mom to forgive him. The R&B singer on here was a good look too.

Big Raw has got a mixtape coming out May 1st. With the independent launch of Grimey Tunez Entertainment LLC, Big Raw is positioned to make big splash in the game. With “rawthentic” lyrics that were created inside the prison walls, his songs will prove that the lyrics he spits put him in a league of his own. Check him out on his MySpace page here.

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