Long Island's R.A. The Rugged Man genuinely appreciates hip-hop in a way that appears to be lost among so many current emcees. While the bulk of rappers seem to be content with hoping from trend to trend, desperately clawing toward a high-profile feature or a radio single, R.A. has spent his career honing his craft and pouring over the genre's vibrant history. There's a particular studiousness to the way R.A. raps that could only come from a man truly enamored with the music. Clearly, others have appreciated this too, as his 2013 album "Legends Never Die" debuted at number one on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart. It's comforting to know there's at least one rapper out there keeping the philosophy alive.
R.A. The Rugged Man will perform on Thursday, March 24, at the California Brew Haus, 402 West Ridge Road. 7 p.m. $20-$45. ticketfly.com.