For the standard-issue, run-of-the mill hip-hop artist, snagging an all-star roster
of guests for your recording project may be an improbable dream. But for highly
respected underground MC Ras Kass, it's no big deal.
Take, for example, Ras Kass' upcoming album, The End (Rasassination),
which will sport vocal contributions from Wu-Tang Clan members RZA and
Raekwon. Canibus, Kid Capri, former Dogg Pound member Kurupt, the Goodie
Mob's Cee-Lo, Twista, Xzibit and other MCs will also make guest appearances.
And that's not all: Gang Starr's DJ Premier, former Dogg Pound
member/producer Daz Dillinger, Kid Capri and others will provide the
"It's about mutual respect and love for the underground, that's how we all
got together," said the Los Angeles-based MC, whose birth name is John
Austin. "Some of those guys [who appear on my album] are friends, and others
are just people I admire and who like my work also. It's a two-way street."
The End (Rasassination) -- which is scheduled for a summer release -- is
Ras Kass' follow-up to his critically acclaimed 1996 debut, Soul on Ice.
Ras Kass, who first made a splash with the Voodoo-produced 12-inch single
"Remain Anonymous," set the hip-hop underground buzzing with the cold, dark
production and intelligent lyrics contained on Soul on Ice.
As a wordsmith, Ras Kass is equally adept at crafting complex, abstract rhymes
and biting, sometimes funny political commentary along the lines of "If Bill
Clinton is the answer/ then it was a stupid question." The title track for the
forthcoming LP, "The End," features RZA on the mic, and "My Side of Town" will
contain a guest appearance by Raekwon.
"Overall, this album is more bouncin'," said Ras Kass of his current project. "My
first album was kinda lethargic and dark ... This one's more bouncin', but still
Other songs on the upcoming album include: "Blade Runner" (with Kid Capri
and Canibus), "Ghetto Fabulous," "Overtime" (featuring Cee-Lo), "Rather
Swallow Blood Than Pride" (featuring Kurupt) and "Interview with a Vampire."