Ryan Andrew Thorburn, better known as R.A. the Rugged Man, is a rapper from Suffolk County, New York on Long Island, who with his father lived in over 20 addresses through out the area. He began his music career at age 12. At 18, he signed to Jive Records as Crustified Dibbs. R.A.'s legend, perpetuated by the P.R. biographies at his various labels, say he was dropped due to violent and disgusting behavior, but in interviews he disputes many of the more extreme stories told about him, adding that Jive just didn't know how to break new artists at the time. Since then, he has worked with Mobb Deep, Wu-Tang Clan and Notorious B.I.G, as well as producers Erick Sermon, Trackmasters, DJ Quik, Alchemist, J-Zone, RZA, and Ayatollah. He was featured on all three of Rawkus’s Soundbombing albums, as well as the platinum-selling WWF Aggression album. In 2004 R.A. released his long awaited debut album "Die, Rugged Man, Die" which received good reviews and sold very well on an independent level.
Coming from a broken Long Island home, R.A.'s father was a gun toting Vietnam veteran/mental patient affected by Agent Orange. His family was forever changed by the potent chemical — his brother Maxx was born handicapped and blind, eventually dying at the age of 10, while his sister Dee Ann couldn’t walk or speak. R.A. tells the story of his father Staff Sgt John A. Thorburn in the first person on the Jedi Mind Tricks track "Uncommon Valor: A Vietnam Story".
In addition to his hip-hop notoriety, R.A. writes a monthly movie column for Mass Appeal magazine, is a contributor to The Ego Trip Book of Rap Lists (St. Martin's Press) and Ego Trip's Big Book of Racism (Harper Collins), and has written numerous articles for other magazines including Vibe, King, and Source. Mr. Rugged has also recently signed a book deal that will explore his maniacal love of boxing to be co-authored with Max Boxing's Doug Fischer and scheduled for publication in spring '07 from Testify / Powerhouse Books.
A rabid horror-film fan, R.A. has written three screenplays with cult-film director Frank Henenlotter -- "Sick in the Head," "Love is Hell," and is writer/producer of a new Frank Henenlotter film titled Bad Biology scheduled for release late 2007.
Die Rugged Man Die
Label: Nature Sounds
SINGLES & EPs
1996 "50.000 Heads" / "Smithhaven Mall"
1997 "Till My Heart Stops" /
"Flipside"(both later released on Soundbombing)
1999 "Stanley Kubrick" / "What Da Fuck"
2001 "Don't Wanna Fuck With" /
"Even Dwarf Start Small"
2004 "Lessons" / "How Low"
2005 "Chains" / "Black And White"
1996 "Who's Dat Guy" featuring Mobb Deep produced by: Havoc
1996 "Smithhaven Mall" released on Stretch Armstrong's LP Lesson 1
1996 "50,000 Heads" featuring Sadat X
1996 "50,000 Heads (Remix)" featuring Sadat X and Capitol Da Crime Lord
1997 "Flipside" released on Soundbombing compilation
1997 "Till My Heart Stops" featuring 8-Off, released on Soundbombing compilation
1998 "4 Days In Cali"
1998 "Piece of Shit" featuring Tragedy Khadafi
1999 "Stanley Kubrick" released on Soundbombing 2 compilation
2000 "Break the Walls Down" released on platinum selling WWF AGGRESSION
2000 "Bottom Feeders" with the Smut Peddlers, released on the Porn Again album
2000 "Rap For Real" with Assassin(from the album Touche D'espoir)
2001 "September Rap" produced by DJ Quik
2002 "You don't Wanna Fuck Wit’" featuring Havoc from Mobb Deep, produced by AYATOLLAH
2002 "Kill It" with 8-Off, Channel Live & Craig G, produced by Alchemist
2002 "Effin' Yo' Bitch" released on BIG PIMPIN
2003 "On the Block" released on Soundbombing III compilation and Big Air Experience compilation. Later featured on his Die, Rugged Man, Die album.
2004 "King Of The Underground" released on Tony Hawks Underground
2005 "Give it up" featuring J-Live. Released on Wu-Tang Meets the Indie Culture Compilation.
2006 "Pignose" with Matlock
2006 "The Renaissance" featuring Black Market Militia, released on Natural Selection Compilation
2006 "Uncommon Valor: A Vietnam Story", released on the Jedi Mind Tricks album Servants in Heaven, Kings in Hell
2006 "Supah," released on Blazing Heat 12 Inch "Supah" (Mad Flava Records)