Ray Rashad

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Raymond Smith III was born on July 5, 1989, in El Dorado, Arkansas, to the parents of Raymond Smith Jr. and Karen Smith. He was raised in Camden, Arkansas in the Fairview community along with his siblings Clifton Smith, brother, and Kennicka Smith, sister. His love for music was discovered when he was five years old. Ray wrote his first song while sitting in his first grade class at Camden Fairview Elementary School after the death of his uncle Cedric Smith. He showed his mother the song he written at school and she was amazed. In school, Ray was exposed to choir and band where he would be able to learn everything about music that he needed to place him where he wanted to be to start a music career of his own. In 2001, he was approached by his cousin Wayne Smith whom gave him a program called Fruity Loops so he could start learning how to make his own beats. In 2005, Ray began recording music in his parents living room at night while everyone was asleep. He went under the pseudonym "Young Ray". He went on to release early recordings to his peers in his high school. In 2006, his father was sentenced to a year and a half in prison. In 2007, after graduation, he attended college at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, majoring in Digital Media Production. While there, he and longtime friend Patric Flannigan and a few guys there formed a group called Mob Squad. In 2008, after his father was released from prison, he dropped out of college and moved back to Camden where he would focus more on his music and worked in the Highland Industrial Park area of East Camden, Arkansas. In 2009, he was the opening act for artists like Lil' Boosie, Juvenile, Trina, Z-Ro, and more. In early 2010, before he released his mixtape "Push It 2 Tha Limit", he changed his stage name to Ray Rashad. The mixtape created a minor buzz for him. In 2011, after relocating to a different city, he released his second mixtape titled "My Story: Memoirs of a King". In 2012, he took over full production for his next project and created his own studio called "The Lecture Lounge". On April 1, 2013, he released his third mixtape called "Highway II Success: Chapter One". A few days after the release, his mother Karen Smith passed away from Multiple Sclerosis. Ray felt he wanted to give up music because his mom was his biggest supporter and became lost after her death. Later that year, he announced that he was in the studio recording his first album "Rayincarnation" with a release for summer 2014. In January, 2014, he released "That's What I Like" as the first single from Rayincarnation. On May 6, 2014, Rays first child, Samya Monet' Smith, was born. Rayincarnation is set to release on July 5th, 2014.

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