Next to Phil Ade, RAtheMC is the brightest rising star in the DMV hip-hop scene. She rocked the stage at last October’s All Killer No Filler and her Twitter-themed mixtape Trending Topic was one of the best local releases in 2009. Since then, she’s been steady grinding, prepping Heart of a Champion, backed by AB the Producer.
Heart of a Champion showcases the same talent and range as Trending Topic. Ra’s flow continues to sharpen, and in the Age of Drake, her self-sung hooks are a well-executed necessity. Tracks by AB the Producer are clean soundscapes for Ra to perform over, never repetitive in tone or style. Throughout the tape, samples pay tribute to Ra’s forebears: Sade’s “Love is Stronger than Pride” on “Pretend” and Lauryn Hill’s “The Sweetest Thing” on “Intoxicated.”
Ra references DMV leaders Wale, Tabi Bonney and XO; the latter appears on the sweeping “So Gone So Long.” Throughout the tape, on songs like “One Shot” and “Heart of a Champion,” Ra proves she is focused on one thing: following in their footsteps – and going farther. After Ms. Hill’s bewildering performance at this weekend’s Rock the Bells, it’s clear that the crown is ready to be passed. So why not to RAtheMC?
COP/DON’T COP THIS MIXTAPE
RAtheMC – Heart of a Champion Tracklist
02. The Grind
04. One Shot
06. One Life
08. Pricey (ft. Ihsan Bilal)
11. Heart of a Champion
12. Good Friends (ft. AB the Pro)
13. Gone So Long (ft. XO)