A few years after being born in Newark, New Jersey Roga Raph found himself growing up in a town called Mount Kisco, a suburban shrub that sounds nothing like his music. His immediate family still resides in Newark and while growing up he was able to observe different cultures and living conditions in his upbringing, which definitely gave him a different perspective on life.
Through the transition from cassette tapes to CD’s. Raph found himself listening to his mothers favorites coming out of the living room stereo. Some of these were Teddy Pendergrass, Marvin Gaye, The O’Jays and many more. These legends were some of Raphs first influences in music.
Early on, Raph grew up at the Boys and Girls Club. By the time he got to middle school, he was being introduced to the golden era of hip hop. This understanding of underground hip hop was deepened when he met a staff at the club that was also a rapper. His extensive knowledge in old-school hip hop influences Raph to dive deep into the music. This staff member, having connections in the industry, was a huge fan of hip hop and downloaded albums and songs to his CD player, and later MP3 player – with a well rounded snap shot of all the classics and not so popular music of the time.
Around the same time, Raph began to realize that the artists he admired were sampling songs that he grew up listening to. His curiosity of sampling led him to producing and learning the ins and outs of music production. Eventually the desire to hear lyrics more in line with his ideas led him to a journey of developing his voice. Expressing feelings eloquently is difficult for anyone. There have always been talented hybrids, but a producer-turned-rapper is always really a producer at heart. Raph explicitly states that he is, first and foremost, a beat head. He just couldn’t find someone to flow. He’ll always be a producer; he just happens to be the best rapper he knows.
As the years have progressed Raph has continued to hone in on his sound and experiment with what he likes to hear. His music is different, but in a good way. Today, Raph still works on his craft like it was the first day he started. His passion for music speaks volumes in his production and lyrics. With a number of upcoming projects in the vault, be prepared to see his voice take over main stream hip-hop culture.