When I first heard a very young Dice Raw on The Roots' albums "Do You Want More" and "Illadelph Halflife" I know I was hearing a true emcee hat stood miles apart from other rappers of his age. He succesfully held his own on tracks with Black Thought and Malik B and has continued to do so as he's been playing a major part in all of The Roots albums since (rhyming, hypeman, becoming the go-to-man for sung choruses, to producing and/or executive producing the later albums, etc). Why Raw hasn't been offered an official position in the band yet is indeed very strange despite appearing on each and every album, and often co-producing a majority of the LP:s.
Signed to MCA Records in 2000 (also home of The Roots at the time), Dice released his first album under his own name - "Reclaiming The Dead". Though it packed a few dope jams, it was definitely not the effort people had been hoping for and was quickly forgotten. Since then Dice has grown tremendously, especially as a singer and songwriter, and has now teamed up with Rawlife for a compilation called "Dice Raw & The Family". Exactly what this will be, or whether or not Dice will appear on all songs, remains to be seen. The first single "Nothin'", however, is a promising joint somewhat in the vein of The Roots' most recent album and features Diice crooning his way through the three minutes over an addictive piano melody and a smacking rhythm section.Whatever the Rawlife record is I'm definitely interested to see what the future holds for this project. Check out the single up top.