Most of today’s hip-hop artists grew up listening to Wu-Tang Clan, but how many grew up rapping with them? Brooklyn-bred MC Hell Razah spent his teenage years under the Clan’s tutelage as a member of Wu offshoot Sunz of Man, sharpening his lyrical sword alongside older MCs like GZA, Ghostface, and Killah Priest during the Clan’s glorious 90s heyday.
Since releasing his first solo mixtape in 2001, Hell Razah has become one of the most prolific artists in hip-hop’s underground. He’s released collaborative albums with 4th Disciple, Blue Sky Black Death, and his supergroup Black Market Militia (along with Killah Priest, Tragedy Khadafi, and Timbo King). After three Sunz of Man albums and countless guest appearances and collaborations, Razah released his acclaimed debut Renaissance Child in 2007.
In April 2010, emergency brain surgery landed Razah in the hospital, just after he finished recording his sophomore album Heaven Razah. With the support of a still-recovering Razah, Nature Sounds released Heaven Razah later that year. Heaven Razah marked a rebrith for Razah, who has re-fashioned himself as a modern day hip-hop prophet, spitting spiritual wisdom about the apocalypse, the presence of demons, mortality, and the afterlife. In light of recent events, his words sound even more prophetic.
“It was like a premonition. I was thinking about these themes, and my destiny was already in my brain, but I didn’t even know it,” explains Razah in his first comments since his being hospitalized. “Right now, I’m in rehabilitaion, doing physical therapy everyday to get back to 100%. I’m writing rhymes too, and the ideas are flowing,” he says. “That’s my spiritual therapy.”