6/26/2021- With the recent Eve/Trina verses battle and the heavily anticipated posthumous DMX album- Exodus, the spotlight has shifted to a hip-hop powerhouse Ruff Ryders. With the recent surge of attention and notoriety the Ruff Ryders have done everything in their power to remind the new generation of those who came before them.
Whether you’re discussing the rise of the infamous DMX, the alluring appeal of Eve, or the massive presence of The Lox’s- The Ruff Ryders have cemented their place in hip hop history whether you were a fan of their gritty and original style or not.
Behind every great movement there is always a diligent and dedicated leader. Joaquin “Waah” Dean is exactly that when it comes to the Ruff Ryders movement. While the casual hip-hop fan would not recognize him at first- Waah has left an impression in the music industry and has been working at this for over 20 years.
“Initially- the idea came from a conversation I had with Heavy D. I had watched him gain a massive amount of success in the music industry, which inspired me to go find that of a DMX among other artists. ”
While the current climate for hip hop is perfectly suited for an overnight sensation with the platforms of Tik-Tok and Instagram. The grind of a hip hop artist in the late 80’s to early 90’s was a bit different.
“97-98 was the year everything began clicking for us with the introduction of Def Jam. But before that we had been grinding since 1988- for 12-13 years.”
While the confidence never wavered in his artists or in his ability to strive once it was their turn, it is clear as day that everything that the Ruff Ryders movement has achieved in the past two decades they have earned not only with the talent but with morals of keeping it like a family.
“We have had our ups and our downs but what keeps us alive is that we keep it a family. DMX is my brother and we inherit all that comes with it- the good and the bad but we always managed to make sure that his talent was seen- it needed to be seen.”
When spotlighting what Waah has accomplished it’s safe to say that his leadership has not led anyone astray, and while he is proud of his past he has not lost sight of the task at hand.
“We’re just working to keep this thing going- trying to keep everything growing. We recently established a couple things, not only trying to establish new artists but work with the community.”
With the recent passing of DMX- the Ruff Ryders have spotlighted Ruff Ryders 2 the Rescue. The Foundation was established in January 2000, is primarily a community-based organization, providing the necessary resources to adequately serve the communities in need.
Within the Ryders 2 the Rescue movement, Waah has established a program known as Ryde4Lyfe Bike Tour. DMX along with the Ruff Ryders were prevalent in the motorcycle community not just in New York but throughout the country.
The organization sights to raise awareness for causes such as Suicide Prevention, Domestic Violence, and HIV/AIDS by conducting ride out all through out the 50 states.
With Waah at the helm, it’s clear that the Ruff Ryders movement has not rested on the loreals and is more dedicated than ever to not only keep DMX’s memory alive but also to make a difference in their community not only with the music but the necessary effort.