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Raz Simone comes from Seattle, a city that is starting to emerge as a hotbed for talented, independent rappers. Under his Black Umbrella label, he's involved in not only writing his lyrics, but also producing, directing videos, and graphic design. This independent spirit—which may come from his unique poetry background—is evident in projects like has last EP, Solomon Samuel Simone.

Today, Raz releases the video for a song called "Don't Shine." It's both the story of his life and an introspective look at how he got to this point. Raz talks about his past as a drug dealer and what inspired him to go that route, with a touch of critical distance that gives new meaning to the concept of "realness," as when he observes: "Where I'm from people take care of they wants before their needs." The video matches the song's theme and the brooding vibe of the beat, co-produced by Raz and Rex Kudo.

"Don't Shine" will appear on Raz's upcoming project, Cognitive Dissonance: Part One.

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