Rashad Andre Payne AKA LiL R.A.P. aka Rush Dem was born in Takoma Park MD. He was raised between Northwest Washington DC on Delafield Rd and Prince George’s county in Hyattsville MD. Growing up Rush was heavily influenced by music. He would attend many functions hosted by his father’s “Emperor Sound” sound system, which has set a strong foundation in the reggae/dancehall community since the late 70s. Rush started rapping at the age of ten and his Jamaican background helped shape his authentically unique style of rap. Rush blends personal life accounts with lyrically witty lines and smooth reggae charged melodies. Some of his musical influences include his cousin Edley Shine of Born Jamericans, Bob Marley, Sizzla, Scarface, Nas and Jay-Z. Because Rush’s music has such a socially conscious appeal it has opened the door for many performance opportunities at various community focused events such as the “Stop The Violence Initiative Block Party” in DC, “Pep Rally for Peace in the Streets”, the “Art Walk”, “Maya Angelou’s See Forever Foundation Benefit” and “Spotlight with Donna Jones”. He has also shared the stage with hip-hop stars such as Jerimih, Young Jeezy, Fabulous, Jadakiss, Project Pat, and reggae stars such as Beenie Man, Elephant Man, Baby Cham, and Buju Banton. He has also received several awards for his work including the Pep Rally for Peace in the Streets Community Support Award – for outstanding and unconditional community service and support, D.M.V. Promoters Ball 2012 & 2013 Local Artist of the Year, and DC Reggae Music Awards Best Reggae Rapper/DJ for 2012 and currently nominated for 2013. Rush is currently working on his Next Mixtape release “Rush Hour” as well as his highly anticipated “F-Team” group project with fellow DMV artist Adversary. Rush has also worked with 368 Music Group recording artists Raheem Davaughn and Phila Da Phuture (of the Droboiz). He is definitely a musical force to be reckoned with and an up and coming super star to keep an eye out for.