Posted by: kubiakl | January 24, 2010


I’m a selective hip hop listener.  Nothing against the style, but let’s be honest – most of the rap you get exposed to sounds like it was written by a fifth grade dropout.

The show I saw yesterday was different.  There were a few groups playing and I didn’t get to catch all of them, but out of the sets I caught Ratarue stood out.  His music reminds me a little of the Wu-Tang Clan (and that could be because I don’t know much hip hop, but no matter).  Intelligent, topical, and void of the narcissism many emcees rely on.  One song seems to be a tongue in cheek dig at typical hip hop:

And that was a video he did himself right here in Austin.

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I’m not a completely disinterested party.  Ratarue’s girlfriend is a co-worker and friend.  Despite that I listened with a neutral ear and still found it compelling.  His Myspace page has some more great songs:

Ratarue’s Myspace Page

I think my favorite so far is “Voyeuristic”.  My truck doesn’t have a “kill your tv” bumper sticker, but the lyrics still resonate with me.

So check him out next time there’s a show.  I went this time for a friend.  Next time it will be for the music.

Update:  I got a copy of Ratarue’s CD “Odd Augmentation, Inc.” today.  5 years in the making, but obviously worth it.  When was the last time you really listened to an album?  I don’t mean just let the music wash over you, I mean you listened because it really grabbed you?  This album did that to me.  It also gave me a new favorite track, “800 Pound Gurrilla”.  I kept going back to that song over and over.  There is a haunting acoustic riff that plays throughout and stays in your head long after the speakers have gone quiet.

Right now the album can be found at Waterloo Records here in Austin and will be hitting the online market soon.  You should go buy a copy.  In the meantime you can read more at Ratarue’s Blog.

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