What's up Leafers? Welcome to the latest edition of On the Rise where we interview upcoming hip hop talent. Today's guest is rap artist, Rah Rage. Rah is straight out of Broward County, Florida by way of Brooklyn, New York. Dey's (Rah's pronoun) sound is an energetic take on alternative trap music. We can definitely see dey on stages such as Coachella or Rolling Loud. In addition to making music, Rah also has a passion for social justice. Dey is an advocate for the rights of women and the LGBTQ community. Rah's been making waves in Atlanta with dey sound so we had to tap in. Check out the interview below.
Westleaf Staff: What's up, Rah? Your sound is dope. When did you start making music?
Rah Rage: As recently as June 20, 2022.
Westleaf Staff: Cool! That wasn't too long ago. You've made so much progress. What city do you represent?
Rah Rage: I was born in Brooklyn, New York, and that will always be home, but I was raised
in Broward County, Florida and they definitely have a grip on me too, so I claim
them both <3.
Westleaf Staff: Shout out to Broward and Brooklyn! Those are some dope cities with amazing talent. So how did you create your stage name?
Rah Rage: I actually love telling this story. So like I previously stated I just recently started
making music in late June, however I have been Rah Rage for this entire year,
basically. When I first moved to Georgia I got a job at Walmart and I would draw
on the clock (keep this between us lol). I started this series where I would draw
Alternative Black Queer characters, giving them names and everything. So one
day I created a character that really resonated with me and thought for a long
time what their name should be. Then boom, out came Rah Rage, and in that
moment I also decided that would be my new DJ name, now here we are :).
Westleaf Staff: Nice. That's super cool. I love the name! So how did your early life shape your interest in music?
Rah Rage: Music was always the only way I could escape the toxic environments I was in. It
became a safe form of expression, where I was allowed to feel as truly and
deeply as I needed to.
Westleaf Staff: I'm glad that you found a safe space in music. It's truly a healing art form. So who is your biggest Musical influence?
Rah Rage: I try not to idolize anyone because at the end of the day we are all human and
capable of causing harm. I will say that I do admire artists who truly value their
craft, such as Frank Ocean, Tems, Beyoncé, Nina Simone. To truly appreciate
raw expression and treat this expression with care, compassion, and honesty is
what allows us to create beautiful, mind-altering, moving, reality-shattering art.
Westleaf Staff: True! Those are some legends. Your statement about not idolizing anyone is on point. It makes me think about the thin line between admiration and idolization. Next question! What's been the defining moment in your music career thus far?
Rah Rage: Since I started making music I have already been shown how being any gender
other than a cis-man makes everything an uphill battle. From working with
producers and beats I actually resonate with to negotiating my own contracts, my
personhood and artistry are disregarded completely, and I am spoken for by
people who believe they know my art better than I do. This continuous experience with cis-men in the industry has only enflamed my resolve to create truly safe spaces for those of us erased and exploited by white supremacist patriarchy.
Westleaf Staff: Wow! I can see how the music industry can be difficult to navigate. Your mission to create safe spaces is admirable. I am sure you will be the change you want to see!
What makes you a unique artist?
Rah Rage: Probably the fact that I don't think myself to be. I believe everyone is unique and
has something to offer, so with that understanding, none of us are special
because we are all special, if that makes any sense.
Westleaf Staff: I love that answer. It makes complete sense! We're all special for sure. So what does art mean to you?
Rah Rage: Art is life. Art, in all forms, is our truest, rawest, and deepest tool of expression. I
believe we were meant to create art in everything we do, and that is the reason of
our existence. Even the things we do to survive can be artistic by nature. Making
delicious food is an art, creating beautiful structures is an art, gardening is an art,
everything is art and art is everything.
Westleaf Staff: I love that definition! Where do you see your music career going over the next few years?
Rah Rage: Well shit, I see my career elevating at the perfect speed in the next few months and
for me to able to bring awareness to the institutional structures that have kept me
and my community in a state of exploitation and indoctrination for centuries. I see
myself being able to speak truth without being censored.
Westleaf Staff: Facts! It's already done. Before we go, describe music in three words.
Rah Rage: Energetic. Intentional. Revolutionary.
Follow Rah Rage
Tik Tok: @Rah.Rage
YT: Rah Rage
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