In 2013, when RA-BE 33 (aka Rob) moved to Santa Cruz, he decided it was time to get serious about rapping. Originally from New Jersey, he’d rapped plenty, but he always treated it like a hobby.
Once here, though, he hit the ground running. Since 2014, he’s released five mixtapes, and in June, he released his first official EP, Write of Passage. The five original songs were produced by Resonant Sun with extra support from Dropical. He also brought in three local female singers, Marya Stark, Carmen “Mama” Crow and Gina Rene.
“I love the sound of a female voice,” Rob says. “It really brings a good counter-element, and a more full dynamic sound.”
Rob’s sound is a hybrid of classic hip-hop beats, trap, bass, and a hint of world beat. The back and forth of his lyrical verses with the singers’ soulfully ethereal vocals creates a hypnotic element in the music.
“It’s about me breaking through the threshold of my creative edge as a writer, as an emcee and as a musician,” he says of the new release. “Really stepping into my most powerful role as a creator, and walking through my own hero’s journey in the process.”