At one point, the California MC Ras Kass seemed poised for a real mainstream takeover. Known for killer freestyles and guest verses, he issued a pair of early albums, Soul on Ice and Rasassination, that were well-received. Things started to unravel, though, around the time of his third album, Van Gogh. His label, Priority, merged with Capitol; the album was bootlegged, and there were budget struggles. Still determined, he formed what should have been a supergroup, the HRSMN, with Kurupt, Killah Priest, and Canibus.
But no material came from that group, and in 2006, Ras Kass got popped on his third D.U.I., and that came with mandatory jail time. He served 19 months, but soon after got sent back after violating parole by flying to the 2007 B.E.T. awards. Now, after more than two years of jail time, he's free. And Ras Kass remains unbowed by his struggles. While away he managed to still release music -- including an entire album, Institutionalized Vol. 2, on Babygrande. A new album, Quarterly, is in the works, and Ras has been working on it in Miami, working with Miami Beat Wave on production.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
As such, he performs a special intimate show this Friday at White Room. We're giving away two pairs of tickets (four total) to the show. One today, one tomorrow. To enter, just comment on this post, and e-mail me your full name and phone number with "RAS KASS TICKETS" in the subject line.
UPDATE: We have a winner for today. Congrats to Dean Rodriguez from Orlando, who is coming down for the show. We're giving away another pair of tickets tomorrow morning, so if you have time on the computer during the holiday, check the blog.
All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.