Interview with Hell Razah
Nahila S – When and how did you start MCing?
Hell Razah – I was about 9 or 10 when I started rapping but I didn’t come out of my shell and start rapping in front of people until I was a teenager. I started because I used to watch my older brother Tray and I picked it up from watching him do it.
Nahila S – Where does the names Hell Razah and Heaven Razah come from?
Hell Razah – When my first partner 7th Ambassador came out from a crew in Red Hook (Brooklyn) called “Mad Mob” which stood for Mentally Armed and Dangerous Mother F***** out of Brooklyn. I was the youngest in that crew. The name Hell Razah came from something I said in a rhyme and I started to use it as a name. I was raised in hell and was raising people out of hell. That’s where Heaven Razah came from. Hell Razah was the street side of me and Heaven Razah was the spiritual side of me that took over when I got older. I had just finished the Heaven Razah album when I had the aneurysm. So Heaven Razah then became the angel “El Raziel” which means messenger of God.
Nahila S – Who or what were your early influences?
Hell Razah – Rakim, Brand Nubian, EPMD, and KRS 1
Nahila S – Why and how Ghetto Government and Hell Razah Music Inc. were born?
Hell Razah – When I was still with the Sunz of Man Ghetto Govt was a concept and something I said in my music. In the late 90’s my brother Tray and 7th Ambassador came together and went back to Red Hook in order to help the upcoming artists and producers there and that’s when Ghetto Govt began to take it’s form. In 2013 GGO became global and Chapters were established all over the US and in other countries and we officially became a global movement that went beyond the music and started becoming active in the community. GGO is a body of good people that are positive, stand for God and who work together to help others with different talents. They have helped my dream come true; I could have never done this alone. I prayed for the team I have around me right now and I got my prayers answered. Hell Razah Music, Inc. was born around 2008 as a record label. Since the aneurysm happened in 2010, I wasn’t able to do much with it until I was well into my recovery. In 2013, I started to officially build my label roster alongside of growing GGO.
Nahila S – In 2010, you suffered from a brain aneurysm.. in 2012, you release “Living after Death” followed in 2015 by “El Raziel”. Can you tell use the story behind these two albums and what do they represent for you?
Hell Razah – Living after death was the second album I dropped after the aneurysm. I dropped Razah Reborn in 2011. In 2015 I dropped “El Raziel” which was actually scheduled to come out after the Heaven Razah album. El Raziel was the name I adapted during the Thug Angelz time. Hell Razah became the record label, and Heaven Razah became the artist.
Nahila S – There is currently a very awaited documentary called “Risen: The Story of Chron Hell Razah Smith” (directed by Frank Meyer) that is being made. What period of your life does it cover and why did you decide to make it?
Hell Razah – The documentary covers my life both before and after the aneurysm. I’ve known Frank since the Sunz of Man days and it was his vision to bring to life the story of my career and recovery.
Nahila S – Is there any release date available yet? and where can your fan follow up on the progresses and check out the information about it?
Hell Razah – The movie will be released in 2016, there is no date available yet but updates will be available on my website hellrazahdigital.com, queentheprophet.com, the Risen Documentary Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds as well as my personal social media accounts.
Nahila S – Do you have any other upcoming projects?
Hell Razah – I have an album produced by Shroom that will drop alongside the documentary, there’s a GGO album that will tentatively drop in 2016 & I have a few more projects I’m working on.
Nahila S – To date what are your best career and/or personal achievements?
Hell Razah – That I’m able to help others that aren’t able to help themselves and I don’t have to take anything from them to do it.
Nahila S – As a conclusion: what advice or message would you like to pass on to someone willing to start MCing today?
Hell Razah – If you don’t invest in yourself, don’t expect anyone else to.
HELL RAZAH Official Website: [Link]
CHECK EL RAZIEL ON ITUNE [El Raziel]
Risen: The Story of Chron “Hell Razah” Smith on Queentheprophet.com [Risen]
Risen: The Story of Chron “Hell Razah” Smith on Facebook [Risen Facebook]