Saturday, March 11, 2017

Ruggedness Madddrama





It's been a long time I want to blog something about Ruggedness Madddrama. I've contacted Rugg to ask him a real biography of the group, but it seems he doesn't have time to answer me ... so here is what I know :
This Philadelphia based group was composed of 3 members : Melvin Carter (RuggedNess a.k.a Rugg) who is consider as the main leader of the group, Eddie Hurk & Chink (Madd Drama).
Their first release 'Big Boyz / Comin' At 'Cha' came out in 1993 on Kixx Records, produced by RuggedNess & The Super T.




"Rugg started out DJing at the age of 12 with his older friend Ernest who was a local DJ in Mount Airy. He started to build his name around the city when he moved to Logan and started to do house parties. And it was there that he meet Mad Drama and started to work on his music."  SONGBIRD



In 1994 came out certainly the best release of their discography, the 12 Inches 'Forreal', entirely produced by Ruggedness on a small indie label 'EMAY records', created by Rugg's friend Emay, a local graffiti artist. 


12" - 1994 - Emay Records












       



Exept the official 'forreal' video, there aren't lots of archives available on the web. Maybe the most interesting videos we can find online are some archives from the DVD 'Rap Underground North', a documentary directed by Kenny White and featuring artists like Sha' Dasious, Rukus, 100x, Tribe ov Bedrock, Da Bum Rush, 3 nations in 1, Phull Scale, Ital tha Ruffian, Ghetto Poet, Poetic Deity... and more. These stuff has been uploaded a while back by Alkuttraz, but the sound quality of the live performances isn't really good.







You can check the other videos here 



In 1995, the crew was back with their second 12" 'Best Ones Yet / Make U Go Crazay' on Emay Records. All tracks still produced by Ruggedness. 


12" - 1995 - Emay Records 











The next 12" 'Hustlers' High / Huntin' Park Hustlers' released in 1997 was a little bit disappointing compared to the others. I don't have more info about the 2 Madddrama members after that ...
In terms of Productions, Rugg worked on lots of projects : In 1994 , he produced 2 tracks on the very good Three Times Dope's EP  'Da Sequel' on Acknickulous Records : Da Sequel & Kick Dat Style.


EP - 1994 - Acknickulous Records 




The same year, he also produced Redd Bull's 12" single 'Rude Girl / Bring On Da Bull / Ghetto Illusion' released on Kixx Records. The Female MC will drop her 'Raindrops' EP in 1996.


12" - 1994 - Kixx Records  






In 1996, he produced 2 tracks for the philly hip-hop crew Da Fat Cat Clique : 'Live From Fox Valley' and the excellent 'Da flow' featuring Rugg, E.S.T, Ital Tha Ruffian, The Man They Call Lux & Lavee. The single peaked at #1 regularly from May to August on WUSL's Power 99 FM.

"From the jazzy beat and piano riff to the reference of former Philadelphia Flyer Eric Lindros, Da Fat Cat Clique's "Da Flow" is so adored because it's so unapologetic in its mid-90s charm. The single caught the attention of Power 99 personality Colby Colb back in '96, and after it blew up on his late night show, it crossed over to the station's main show. It's the type of track that young hip-hop fans would stay up late on Friday nights to tape off of the radio, loving every minute of it." Complex UK


12" - 1996 - DFCC Records  





From Da Buzz! The Philly Issue - October 1998 - Scan courtesy of Rapzines


"Rugg started to make some real noise! Coming up and out with some pretty dope artist such as R.A.M Squad, I Ty Ruffian, The Roots, Shock Nation, and Bum Rush.... Rugg stood out and ventuerd off into other parts of music.
As one of the owners of "Platinum Bound Records" Rugg was the man behind the music of a majority of Philly artist such as Major Figgas, Freeway, Peedi Crack, RAM Squad, and etc! Promoting that Philly sound was embedded into him! But it was with Philly Native Eve that put Rugg into a nother line of work. After years of working with Eve before she became that person in the spot light.... After she blew up she did not forget what he had done for her! So when she started her sitcom "Eve" she called Rugg and offered him a job as her sound man, so he picked his family and moved to California leaving behind Platinum Bound to persue another part of his musical career.

After the show was canceled, Rugg return to the place that he had started, but starting a New life which lead to the opening of "Batcave Studio". And for everyone who has been in the dark for the past 10 years..... BatCave Studios is one of the most know studios in Philadelphia! The Home to damn near anybody thats doing something with music in the city. Rugg, P Funk, and Biz Porter are the names behind Meek Mills, Ape Gang, Black Dinero, Mont Brown, and others! Now a radio station, Record Company, and Studio... BatCave definatley is a name that rings bells!" SONGBIRD 


    Biz Porter & Rugg - Batcave Studio - Photo courtesy of Jarrid A. Barringer / Tribune Photographer





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