Raashan Ahmad - The Push CD
|Here's what Raashan Ahmad has to say about his new album: This album was born out of me. I have been in a live band for the last 8 years and have learned so much about different rhythms, genres, methods, and musicality, which has been a beautiful thing. But this album is a return to basics, that good ol' boom bap, the beats and rhymes. I needed to get in touch with the other side of me, the side of me who loved Run DMC, BDP and the 808 machine. It was where I started as an M.C. and I needed to touch that again. As an M.C. in Crown City Rockers I try to be as varied as the music that we create. My writing is for myself as well as an audience as diverse as our crew. It is a challenge that I love; one that pushes me out of my comfort zone and inspires me to improve my talent. Without the skills I acquired from being in a group with such talented musicians I never could have made a solo album that is, in a word, selfish. This is a non-collaborative effort born out of my own fears, insecurities, observations, triumphs and tragedies. It is therapy over beats.|
|Production by DJ Vadim, Eligh (Living Legends), Headnodic (Mighty Underdogs/Crown City Rockers), and Stro (The Procussions).|
|2.||City Feel Proud (feat. Chali 2na) |
|3.||If I |
|5.||The Crush |
|6.||Close (feat. Jennifer Johns / Salas)|
|8.||Heavenbound (feat. Jason Joseph)|
|10.||Ready (feat. Ras Mesa)|
Just "The Push" Hip-Hop Needs! (5 Stars)
, May 28, 2008
- See all my reviews
Raashan Ahmad may be best known for his work with the Crown City Rockers out of the bay area in California. However, the supremely dope single off of The Mighty Underdog's debut EP "Bring Me Back" featuring Raashan was all the convincing I needed to pick this joint up on a blind buy.
I've had the album for a week, and have listened to it around fifteen times (if not more). Raashan is the complete package in every way. He delivers intelligent & conscious commentary, energetic battle flows as well as jazzy & soulful flows, introspective songwriting, humor, and a philosophy & maturity that only a true veteran could attain. Point blank, Raashan Ahmad is one of my favorite new discoveries. Of course, what would a fly emcee be without fly beats? Luckily, "The Push" delivers on both counts. There's a wide variety here. From the spaced out soundscape of Eligh (Living Legends), to the soul driven bangers brought forth by Descry, Crown City Rockers, D Sharp & DJ Vadim, and the hard hitting beat with DJ Planturn, right down to the highly inventive Headnodic, you'll find a taste of everything here. Guest appearances? There's only a couple, but they also deliver. Cali 2Na of Jurassic 5 lends an excellent spot on "City Feel Proud", spitting bullets right alongside Raashan.
There is a wide array of memorable bangers in the mix. "If I" sinks a deep hook into you, and doesn't really let up until the album is over. That male vocal soul sample will be stuck in your head for days. "Weight" offers excellent lyrics about the pressures of life over another infectious vocal sample. "The Crush" is a favorite. And it's one of the very few joints that tackle the subject of "hip-hop" (a good thing). Excellent lyrics and it may just contain the most memorable production here. "Close" is the Crown City Rockers joint here, and this may be my favorite song here. Everything about it is perfect. "Give Thanks" is pretty laid back and soulful, and contains excellent lyricism from Raashan. "Heavenbound" is produced by Kat Ouano and features Jason Joseph. The production changes up with a nice synth based beat. "Fight" is another favorite here. And the message lives up to it's title. A solid banger to say the least. Getting toward the end, we have the somber banger "Cancer" - a very personal song about his mother that died from cancer. I can't think of a much nicer ending than "Peace" provides. Excellent production, excellent rhymes, and excellent closure. Skip material? There's only 1 track I skip from time to time, and that is the ragga flavored "Ready". Not a bad tune, just not my cup of tea.
So far this is my 2008 frontrunner, and it will take a lot to beat it. This is the variety of quality I've been looking for all year, and I can see this album getting several spins down the line. Truly one of the finest records you'll hear all year.