When REVUE got a hold of Grand Rapids rapper Razz Na$-T earlier this summer, he was gearing up for a life-altering trip to Las Vegas.
However, his destination wasn’t just the alluring glitz of the Vegas strip — it was the natural splendor of Lake Tahoe, the site of his latest music video.
“Just know that it involves motorcycles, a devil and a demon, the desert, clear water, blue skies, and of course California evergreens,” said Razz, aka Riley Dean. “The rest is a surprise.”
The clip — for the single “Planet Cracker” — is the second video off of Razz Na$-T’s debut solo LP, Midas Well, which he released earlier this year. It’s his first release since parting ways with GR hip-hop crew Mad Snipes last year, and its 17 tracks showcase his emergent lyrical savvy.
“My style is constantly morphing,” Dean said. “I do not like to shoot for a certain style. Whether I’m producing or writing, I tend to just let it fall out of me as organically as possible in order to create something original that nobody has heard before.”
Dean spent the last year working on Midas Well, which is a play on the famous Greek myth, and the idea of pulling up actual gold from an underground wellspring.
Appearing w/ Bamfomania, The SEVENTH
The Pyramid Scheme, 68 Commerce SW, Grand Rapids
Aug. 5, 8 p.m.
$10 advance, $15 day of show, All-ages
pyramidschemebar.com, (616) 272-3758
“The idea was basically that you have to work to achieve full potential,” Dean said.
Dean, 25, first started writing lyrics as a teenager, and first got into the world of hip-hop by listening to Insane Clown Posse. About six months later, he started smoking and hanging out with Ogos — one of the members of Mad Snipes — who enlightened him with the Definitive Jux record label, as well as artists like MF Doom, Madlib, and Company Flow.
“I fully credit Ogos for developing my love of hip-hop and the culture that comes with,” he said.
Mad Snipes began playing house shows in the beginning of 2010. Not long after, the group released its debut EP, New. Affordable. Green.
“By 2012 the shows had gotten so big that the cops would always come and break stuff up or, in one instance, we shattered the floor boards,” Dean said.
In addition to Ogos, Midas Well features such other Grand MCs as Aramis, Nate Paulson and Ajax Stacks. It also features the production work of Man @ Work, Dean Martian, Dayz, Chip Vicious, Fuzbuz, and Feek VonWorkum.