Raz Simone has no intentions of hiding behind his music. In fact, it was the connection he made with listeners that led the Seattle rap rookie to strike a big-time deal.
Simone promises that all of his music stems from his real life, and perhaps there is no song realer than "These Kids Throw Rocks," the opening song to last year's Solomon Samuel Simone. On it, Raz makes a brief allusion to his complicated home life when he spits: "My mama found truth in her stomach amongst some of the lies/ Getting raped by a close friend could f--- up your life."
"Yeah that's true, that's real," Raz told MTV News with a bit of a frog in his throat on January 20 when he came to New York to announce his partnership deal with Lyor Cohen, Todd Moscowitz and Kevin Liles' new label, 300.
"That was my dad and my mom. My mom was a virgin, so that's what happened," he continued to explain. "They were friends for a little bit and then, you know, that was that."
Raz says his dad was a heavyweight boxer from Detroit, who used to spar with Mike Tyson and at one point served time for killing someone. Despite the horror, Raz's mom maintained an open and honest relationship with her son, never sugar-coating his parents' past.
"Luckily it didn't never hurt me, just going back and thinking about that, it hurts just thinking about my mom. But growing up not having a dad — or not having him around or even knowing the story, didn't hurt me," he said. "It was something that I understood. I appreciated that my mom was so open with me since I was like two, three — she told it to me straight since I remember."
Through it all Simone has kept it straight with his fans. His latest single "Don't Shine," from his upcoming Cognitive Dissonance: Part One, is a moody trek through his native Seattle. "Where I'm from when the clouds come out, then the sun don't shine around here," he croons while opening up about his conflicted drug dealing past and the lessons his mother taught him.
For Raz, the music is an outlet, though he says he's not harboring any ill feelings about any of it.
"Everything, it was cool, because my mom didn't have any anger behind it and I think that's really where it was at and I didn't feel like I needed him around, so I wasn't one of those kids sitting there every Father's Day like, 'Where's my dad?'" he said candidly. "It's a harder plight for someone who had a dad and losses them when they're like 12. It was fine, it was cool and I had already forgiven him because my mom had forgiven him, so it was cool."