Ras Kass, born John R. Austin II on September 26, 1973, is an American rapper and songwriter hailing from Carson, California. He gained recognition as a member of the hip hop supergroup The HRSMN and the Golden State Warriors. Regarded as one of the best rappers of all time, Ras Kass is known for his thought-provoking lyrics and exceptional wordplay.

His stage name is derived from the Ethiopian Emperor Yohannes IV, and he began his career with the single “Trick or Treat” in 1991. Ras Kass quickly made a name for himself in the hip-hop world with his debut independent single “Remain Anonymous,” earning a Hip-Hop Quotable in The Source Magazine. He went on to make guest appearances on numerous records and radio shows, solidifying his reputation as a talented lyricist.

Ras Kass released his first album, Soul on Ice, in 1996, addressing racial relations with tracks such as “Ordo Abchao” and “Nature of the Threat.” The follow-up, Rasassination, featured collaborations with top artists like RZA, Twista, Xzibit, Mack 10, and Dr. Dre. Throughout his career, Ras Kass faced challenges with record labels and legal issues but continued to create music, including mixtapes and the album Barmageddon in 2013.

In 2019, Ras Kass released Soul on Ice 2, a sequel to his debut album, showcasing his enduring talent and passion for hip-hop. With a discography spanning over two decades, Ras Kass remains a force to be reckoned with in the rap industry.

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