AUBURN — No stranger to hip-hop/rap, Sam “ELEmenT” Waterman of Sabattus says the music genre, which hasn't been widely accepted in Maine, is gaining popularity.
And he should know. He is one of the opening acts for a show by controversial and influential New York rapper R.A. the Rugged Man on Friday, Aug. 24, at Club Texas.
R.A. was banned from the offices of every major record label and barred from performing during the late 1990s. But, according to his website, "by combining the authenticity of his undeniably rugged life with his undisputed mic skills and understanding of the genre as a Hip-Hop historian, his music has both survived and thrived off the strength of bootlegs and word of mouth through high profile collaborations and high quality official releases ..."
Among those collaborations is his work with Wu-Tang, Mobb Deep, Biggie and Kool G. Rap.
R.A. also has, according to his website, "been championed by critics for his show-stealing work on the three ‘Rawkus Soundbombing’ collections, as well as contributing 'Break the Walls Down' to the platinum-selling ‘WWF Aggression’ compilation."
Waterman's company WaterworX teamed up with Afterhours Smokeshop to bring R.A. to Club Texas, with performances to begin at 8 p.m. Opening along with "ELEmenT" are Ralphy D and aMess, Frontline, Northern Lights and Click North w dj’ing by Doc Joshua.
Waterman and his teenage peers grew up listening to rap. “It really is the rock music of my generation, especially being an artist who wants to offer something new, creative and intuitive to the platform," said Waterman, now 29.
After graduating from Oak Hill High School, Waterman attended New England School of Communications, where he studied audio engineering and video production. He earned an associate's degree with a minor in business and since then has written, produced and recorded with such Maine artists as A-Frame, Educated Advocates and Sandbag.
Waterman also worked with R.A and mainstream artists MC Eiht, Bizarre and Goretex, all of whom appear on his new CD, “I Love the '80s.” In addition, he has had features on UGH (Underground Hustlin’) mixtapes and was interviewed Wednesday on appletonradio.com.
Tickets to the show are $15 at Bull Moose Music or $20 at the door.