Hip-hop saves lives, and the testimony of Atlanta rapper, Ralo, is just one of many auspicious examples of reform rooted in rap music. Born to a crack-addicted mother and an absent father,the Atlanta trapper claims that he went to Fulton County Juvenile Detention Center 32 times. However, he is now thrusting his rap career and stoic personal story into the limelight for all four corners of the world to embrace.
With roots that lead back to Atlanta’s infamous The Bluff section, the budding rapper went from robbing local dope boys, distributing heroin, and sleeping in abandoned houses to a promising rap career as one of Atlanta’s most influential artists. He has already worked with the likes of Future, Birdman, Gucci Mane and 21 Savage, among others. To add to Ralo’s legend, he often states that he is a self-made millionaire, and he’s only 22-years-old.
“When you’re going through it, it’s like it ain’t wrong. I was thinking everybody mom’s did drugs,” Ralo tells VIBE. “I was thinking everybody stayed in a one bedroom house. I didn’t know you can have your own room until I got my own room. Now if I see a 11 or 12-year-old boy out there, I thinking ‘that’s someone’s child, man.’ Now, I can’t believe that I was out there homeless and selling dope. I can’t believe that I was a 12-year-old boy sleeping in abandoned houses. I’m just now seeing that my life was wrong.”
VIBE met with Ralo downtown at Manhattan’s Strand Bookstore where he discussed his relationship with literature, religion and more.