Born Todderick Ragsdale in the sleepy East Texas town of Jacksonville, Rags came of age much like any other young boy growing up in a small town. There was not a lot to do and everybody pretty much knew everybody else.
“Jacksonville is a real small town”, he describes. “If you’re traveling through it, you’ll ride through and not even know it. We don’t have any big stores. The biggest store we have is Wal-Mart. We have to go travel to Tyler, Tx for most of our shopping and activities.”
As a way to channel his energy and foster a creative side that he never knew he had, young Todderick began tinkering with a karaoke machine around the age of 12. He would recite other rappers verses until one day, he decided to write his own lyrics to their industry beats and record the songs on the karaoke. By the time he turned 16, Rags began to master his craft.
He independently released his first street album Choppin on Blades in 2000 at the age of 16. He sold approximately 1,000 hard copies locally and generated an instant buzz. He quickly followed with his single “Stuntin and Frontin”, (a collaboration project with Stan-T and Mike Boogielow) which set both radio and clubs on fire. Then after, he came back to back with a string of mixtape including Hater Proof in 2002, Starched Down Playaz and Keepin’ It Real in 2003 and This Means War in 2004. His first mixtape to elevate his career was 2005’s “Welcome 2 Da Ville” hosted by Dj Brain, which sold over 10k copies locally and independently.
“You gotta grind harder with the music down here because there are not a lot of outlets”, he contends. “We only have a couple of clubs, so you have to go to other places to promote your music. Thats what I did and the people loved it”.
“People cling to my music because I make records that everyday people can relate to”, he says. “That’s why I continue to gain more fans everyday”.
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