SOHH teamed up with ReverbNation to select 20 unsigned rappers with "True Grit" --that rough, authentic swagger and determination to win at all costs. After weeks of deliberations and debates reviewing hundreds of worthy (and simply wack) contenders, the SOHH.com team countsdown the top 20 grittiest rappers on ReverbNation with a hustle so hard and rhymes so raw, they can't go unnoticed.
The SOHH True Grit Artist #13: "ED E. RUGER", GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA
It doesn't take a wild stallion to spot talent as definitive as North Carolina's own Ed E. Ruger when it comes down to dope rhymes and doper beats. With an ability to mesh himself to any sound he lays vocals over, Ed E. Ruger stole our attention at gunpoint with his style and content that immediately draws comparisons to other Greensboro city slickers like Little Brother.
His social appeal? Ridiculous. Throw MySpace's "Tom" in the bunch and you're staring at over 30,000 loyal fans with supporters bopping their heads to Ruger in the form of 500-plus FanReach and 200-plus FaceBook boys and gals. With an appeal that focuses primarily on 25-34 year olds, it's Ed E Ruger's non-stop grind that caught us. Doing multiple shows each month around his town, it's a old-fashioned mystery as to when this cowboy can slow down.
If our breakdown of why he's earned a spot on our gritty list ain't enough, then take a glance at the "other" co-signs he's received. Having his tracks featured on "The Boondocks" and "Breaking Bad" is a pretty good look, but it's hitting the same stage alongside rap stars including Public Enemy, Wiz Khalifa, Method Man, Redman, Young Buck, The Clipse and Cassidy that has us wondering if we should start up our own SOHH Records and lasso him in to a deal.
Western words and witty descriptions can sell him alone but if you take a listen to his music, you'll quickly see why Ed deserves multiple listens. On songs like "Ziplocked & Loaded," Ed doesn't lie about contemplating a street life but allows his conscience to save him ("And I don't feel right everyday punching a clock/Day dreaming about keys you can't fit in a lock/That's until I had a flashback about being pop/And realized where I'd be if it wasn't for hip-hop"). While Ruger's able to spit about different sides of reality, you can hear how deep his grit can grind on tracks like "Dummy Disease" ("This sh*t ain't even fun no more, this ain't rapping/Half of these tracks should come with closed captions/Nowadays, deejays scream instead of scratching/I just give them dap and try to keep from laughing...").
If you are one of the many people who are looking for new flavor in your ears, then take off those Beats By Dre and tune in to what Ed E Ruger has to say. This guy is not your average rhyme slinger.
Check back tomorrow to see SOHH True Grit Artist #12.