Interview: Lil Waah and Ruff Ryders Indy represent at We R the Streets showcase
Photo by Ruff Ryders Indy, used with permission

The Ruff Ryders' We R the Streets Music Showcase featured talented indie artists from New York and beyond at SOB's on April 14. The sold-out event also included performances by Ruff Ryders Indy artists Quadir Lateef, Lil Waah and Drew James in advance of their appearances at the Ruff Ryders Reunion Concert at Brooklyn's Barclays Center on April 21. The anxiously awaited Past, Present, Future tour will feature hip-hop stars DMX, Eve, The Lox, Swizz Beatz and Drag-On, and celebrates the 20th anniversary of the iconic label's founding. The We R the Streets pre-show demonstrated Ruff Ryders' continued commitment to uplifting rising artists and the talent that is currently signed to Ruff Ryders Indy.

Toronto native Drew James is a DJ, producer and rapper who effortlessly exudes confidence on and off the stage. The crowd at SOB's was hypnotized by his stage presence, and his versatility makes him a valuable addition to Ruff Ryders Indy. James recently dropped a music video for his single "Paper Chaser," and has much more in store for fans in the coming months. Quadir Lateef, meanwhile, has received coverage from Hip-Hop Wired, The Source and other media outlets in recent months for the lyrical genius displayed on "Exorcism," "Blackout 2017" and other releases. He captivated a restless crowd toward the end of the We R the Streets showcase with bars spit acapella; then followed with original records that showcased his passion, intellect and talent. Simply a beast on the mic, Lateef is one to watch in 2017. 

Holding it down for his father, Ruff Ryders co-founder and CEO, Lil Waah, is a talent in his own right. At just 14 years old, he has been performing for half of his life and is already poised to make an impact on the industry. It seems that his talent and familial connections made a career in entertainment his destiny. "I've been in love with music ever since I was born," Lil Waah told AXS in an exclusive interview. "I was always in the studio, every day. So, it wasn't nothing to see Swizz and X in the studio every five minutes. I was already around it, and it gravitated to me." Being raised around hip-hop legends but growing up with trap music, Lil Waah appreciates quality, but can also ride a hot beat. A music video for his single "Dab N Dip" was released on April 14 and features teens turning up while dancing to the catchy single. "Back in the day, they used to have a lot of rappers that had a lot of bar work," he explained. "I do bar work too, but I want the kids to gravitate to my music...I'm trying to be me, do my own thing."

Up next is an EP and a new single, "Nothin 2 Somethin," which Lil Waah performed with impressive energy and audience engagement at the We R the Streets showcase.

For more information on Ruff Ryders Indy and its artists, visit the label's website. Ruff Ryders Past, Present, Future Reunion Concert tickets are available now with the Past, Present, Future compilation album also dropping on April 21. The album is available now for pre-order on iTunes