Robert Haggarty is a rapper and producer who attended Columbia College Chicago, graduating with a major in fiction writing and a significant number of poetry classes under his belt. He started rapping after being introduced to underground hip hop by a friend back in 2008, and taking a few years while at school to hone his craft, writing lyrics, jokes, poetry, prose, and gaining some of the knowledge necessary to start production work in his short stint as an Audio Arts & Acoustics major. Robert Haggarty has now released his debut album, “RH”, which is available on all major digital download stores.
The first interesting about Robert Haggarty, is that he is a creative writer by ‘profession’. His website offers an assortment of poetry and short stories that plays testimony to his craft. So the move to express himself through the Rap medium, is almost a natural one for anybody with a serious talent for creatively manipulating words. So you can be sure that “RH” is an album from one of Hip hop’s newest, most insightful and deep storytellers.
The album is full of jazzy and soulful music, with Robert Haggarty delivering distinct flows and lyrics. While coastal bias still permeates like poison throughout the rap world. The quality and depth of Haggarty’s rhymes overrides any petty musical prejudices. The 15 tracks sprawled across “RH” , methodically drags you into Haggarty’s world and mindset.
He kicks off track one, “Ringing The Bells In (Prod. SayFunk)”, looking at a bad day, thinking that things could be a lot worse. This track instantly gives you ‘the measure of the man’ as he moves through the experiences from being a runaway to having to rob to make it until the end of the day.
On the socially conscious “Say The Things You Say (Prod. Tru Man)”, Haggarty skillfully intertwines hope, purpose, defiance and political criticism, fronting a cinematic backdrop of sound. As much as you’d like to ignore the sentiments and just groove, with Haggarty it’s often impossible to separate the medium from the message.
“46 (Prod. Tru Man)” forms yet another social and political interrogation from Haggarty, as he moves from his granddad’s pension to the freedom of press. As a rapper though, Haggarty is unique, with a rhythmic flow and creative use of words. His lyrics rarely insult, they question, debate and uplift.
Robert Haggarty’s songs are often filled with positive images as he calls for social reform and solidarity within the community. He is not afraid to discuss death, mental health or suicide awareness, as in “Bring Me Kepler (Prod. SayFunk)” where he raps about a girl who died in his high school.
“RH” is the kind of album hip-hop fans have been waiting for. Especially considering that everyone is so tired of the latest releases in rap, with albums that just don’t make sense. Haggarty is more able and descriptive than most of those ‘real’ rappers telling street level stories. His rhymes make sense. He has an attitude. He has a mood. And most importantly his songs have a theme.
“Sufferin Succotash (Feat. CRYM, Prod. Tru Man)” delivers an infectious reggae beat with a subtle vocal hook, which once again allows Haggarty to tackle American injustices and corporate corruption. He accomplishes a hard task by transforming your very thoughts into his words. Haggarty rhymes with precision and his songs relate. That’s a rare thing to find these days.
Robert Haggarty’s is at once thoughtful, outspoken and expressive, but most of all “real”; a word that’s too often bastardized in today’s Hiphop culture. “From Death Springs Life (Prod. Marc D)” Haggarty investigates the effects of death, a frequent topic on this album. Here he looks at the death of someone who was a failure in society, but whose death brings something much more meaningful to his son.
Though outspoken and sometimes even harsh in his messages, Haggarty is also deeply reflective and introspective in some deliveries. He doesn’t deliberately pack each verse with punchlines to grasp the listener’s attention, and as a result, his craft comes across as a more intensely honest and personal work. Often you get the feeling that Haggarty is a young man trying to make sense of his life (as well as ours), and the world around him -at once profound and inquisitory, “Passing Away (Prod. SayFunk)” is another demonstration of this fact.
You could never describe Robert Haggarty’s as an ‘ill’, ‘dope’ or ‘tight’ rapper, he’s way beyond that. He deals with real issues. He knows the right words to use and he knows how to make them flow, so they sound exactly like where they come from -the heart!
Robert Haggarty has the ability to transform words into something tangible. He also has the faculty to make you feel what he feels and believe what he believes. Moreover “RH” is absolutely beautiful in almost every way that an album can be; from the messages to the beats, the production, the progression and the essence of its themes. Hardly have I heard a rap debut so positively and intelligently done, in a world full of people making almost no attempt at upping themselves and the community that surrounds them. This album is a true asset to the Rap and Hiphop movement, other than being an everlasting testimony of Robert Haggarty’s immense talent…
…and I haven’t even described all fifteen tracks yet!