Hot 16: Ras Kass

Hot 16: Ras Kass

Ras Kass is lyricism personified.

The man born John Austin IV has built his name on mastery of the art of emceeing. He burst out of Watts, CA. in the mid-1990s during a classic period for West Coast artists and he's never stopped or looked back. For 25 years, and on the strength of acclaimed albums like Soul On Ice and Rassassination, he's set a standard for artistry and for rhymers who love to rhyme. 

We rounded up a little trivia, some of his most noteworthy music videos, and certain products that represent Ras Kass to the core. This is Ras Kass Hot 16.


His stage name is an homage to Ethiopian emperor Ras Kassa Mercha.

After the release of his second album, he spent years fighting his label Priority over his third releasae, Van Gogh. Priority merged with Capitol in the early 00s, and Kass successfully sued his former label. 

In the late 90s, he formed The HRSMN with Kurupt, Killah Priest and Canibus.

He once upstaged Nas before he even had an album out. 

He's close friends with Coolio.

No stranger to supergroups, he formed Golden State Warriorz with Xzibit and Saafir (formerly of Digital Underground) in 1998. 


Miami Life


Anything Goes


Ghetto Fabulous 




Coke Lines




FEAR OF GOD Black Everyday Hoodie

Mitra Liberation Silk Scarf

Sweat The Technique by Rakim

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