Chron Smith (born October 1, 1976), better known by his stage name Hell Razah, is an American rapper. He is best known as a member of Sunz of Man, an early affiliate group of the Wu-Tang Clan.
Razah suffered a brain aneurysm in April 2010. He made amazing strides in his recovery process and began to record right away. Although still in the recovery process, Razah continues to make remarkable progress. He came to adopt the moniker Heaven Razah.
Da Last Future & Sunz of Man
Razah made his rap debut in the early 90s as a member of the group Da Last Future, an early incarnation of the Sunz of Man, which included Killah Priest, Shabazz the Disciple, Prodigal Sunn, Supreme and 7th Ambassador. Razah and 7th Ambassador self-released the single “Livin’ in Hell” b/w “Mental Combat” independently before the group adopted the Sunz of Man moniker. Razah recorded a number of tracks with the group before their induction into the Wu-Tang family, including “Deep in the Water”, “Writing Rhymes With a Liquid Pen” (aka “Elements”), “Lulla Bye” and “Psychic Hotline”.
In 1995, the group adopted the moniker Sunz of Man, and signed a record deal with Wu-Tang/Priority Records. SoM released a number of singles on Wu-Tang Records, including “Soldiers of Darkness”, “No Love Without Hate” and “Bloody Choices”, in anticipation of their 1996 debut album Nothing New Under the Sun. Due to internal conflicts and label complications, the album was shelved. Sunz of Man later signed a record deal with Red Ant Entertainment for the release of their official 1998 debut The Last Shall Be First, with the group’s roster shaved down to just Razah, Killah Priest, Prodigal Sunn and 60 Second Assassin. The album was one of the most successful Wu-Tang affiliate releases, debuting at No. 20 on the Billboard 200 album chart, and No. 7 on the R&B/Hip-Hop chart.
After the departure of Killah Priest in 1998, the group took a hiatus. 1999 saw the release of The First Testament, which featured previously recorded material from the group, including the early tracks from Da Last Future. Razah, Prodigal Sunn and 60 Second Assassin returned in 2002 with the album Saviorz Day, the second official Sunz of Man studio album. The group has yet to release a third studio album, but it has been reported that the group has reconciled with Shabazz the Disciple, Killah Priest and Supreme.
Razah made his solo debut in 2001, though quietly, with the independent release When All Hell Breaks Loose. The album featured guest appearances from 7th Ambassador, Killah Priest, Prodigal Sunn and Timbo King of Royal Fam, and production from Supreme. The album spawned the single “Champaigne Room” b/w “Ghetto Love”. The tracks “Must B tha Music”, “Oh! Now You Bangin’”, “Ghetto Government”, “Champaigne Room”, “Like It or Not”, “What We Came to Do”, “B.B.P. (Business Before Pleasure)” and “Rowdy, Rowdy” made up roughly half of the 2004 Sunz of Man compilation Elements, with the other half made up of tracks from The First Testament.
Razah’s next solo album, Renaissance Child, was released in early 2007 on Nature Sounds Records. The album featured appearances from Timbo King, Tragedy Khadafi, R.A. The Rugged Man, Talib Kweli, Viktor Vaughn, Bronze Nazareth, Killah Priest and Ras Kass, and production from Godz Wrath, MF DOOM, Bronze Nazareth, Krohme and 4th Disciple. The album was a well-received, critical success and featured the singles “The Renaissance” and “Buried Alive” b/w “Project Jazz”. It was released February 2007. The album has moved 4,506 units. The First 10,000 Units Contain a Limited Edition Bonus DVD Directed by Apademik, and Co-Directed by:Hell Razah himself.
In October 2007, Razah released his next album, Razah’s Ladder, entirely produced by the production duo Blue Sky Black Death. The album also was acclaimed, due to BSBD’s soulful production work, and also to Razah’s new spiritual lyrical direction, inspired by the recent death of his father. The album featured guest appearances from Prodigal Sunn, Shabazz the Disciple, Crooked I, Ill Bill and Sabac Red, and featured no singles. Self-funded videos were shot for the tracks “Razah’s Ladder” and “Audiobiography”, the latter directed by Sunz of Man producer Supreme, and “Razah’s Ladder”, Directed by Apademik.
In 2004, Hell Razah and 4th Disciple released a full-length collaboration album, Freedom of Speech, under the title “Sunz of Man presents”. The album featured fifteen newly recorded tracks with 4th Disciple, and five other previously released tracks from When All Hell Breaks Loose. The album featured the single “Article One” b/w “Project Love”.
In 2005, Razah, Killah Priest, Royal Fam’s Timbo King, Tragedy Khadafi and William Cooper formed the underground supergroup Black Market Militia. The group released their self-titled debut album Black Market Militia that same year, with production from Godz Wrath and Bronze Nazareth, and guest appearances from dead prez and Abiodun Oyewole of The Last Poets. The album spawned the singles “Audobon Ballroom” b/w “Thug Nation”/”Hood Lullabye” and “Gem Stars” b/w “Mayday!”. Razah’s next album collaboration album was with Shabazz the Disciple and producer Ayatollah as the group T.H.U.G. Angelz, titled Welcome to Red Hook Houses, to be released on July 8, 2008 on Babygrande Records. Other releases came in 2008 such as solo album titled Heaven Razah, and Article 2: Right to Bare Arms, a second full-length collaboration with 4th Disciple. In an October 2007 interview, Razah also announced plans for numerous other releases for the year. He announced that the Sunz of Man were reunited and planned on releasing an album sometime soon. He also stated that The Maccabeez, a group consisting of himself, Killah Priest and Timbo King, were nearly finished recording their debut album. Black Market Militia are also planning for another album. Another possible release is a collaboration between Razah, Shabazz and Blue Sky Black Death, and a project from G.G.O. (Ghetto Government Officialz), which consists of Razah, 7th Ambassador, Lazarus, Face God and other Red Hook locals.
Hell Razah suffered a Brain Aneurysm in 2010. After surviving that near death experience, he began to go under the name Heaven Razah.
In 2011, Hell Razah’s health was improving and he said on Twitter several albums will come out in the future, including Heaven Razah 2, the second album with Shabazz the Disciple as T.H.U.G. Angelz (produced by Ayatollah and 4th Disciple), Razah’s Ladder 2 produced by Blue Sky Black Death, a gospel/rock album produced by Krohme called Krohme Razahs and an album with Shyheim called The Verrazano. An album with Killah Priest as Thug Vaticans called The Lamb’s Supper will come out in 2013. He’s also doing an album with producer Bronze Nazareth. He also started a hiphop/soul group together with producer Shroom and singer Tarone Rachamim called The Dutch and they are planning to release their first album in the future, which is called Music from the Heart.
Heaven Razah Part 2 became Living After Death and was released on iTunes on March 31, 2013. In May, Hell Razah announced launched a full Ghetto Government Officialz campaign under his new label, HellRazah Music Inc. and included on the roster Razah’s oldest son Kappo AKA Yung Razah.
Razah is preparing to release his first solo album with all new music since his near death experience on January 21, 2014, entitled “Return of the Renaissance Child”. However, the album was delayed. Hell Razah will drop the album with his group The Dutch with Dutch producer Shroom and singer Tarone Rachamim called Music from the Heart in 2014.