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An Interview with Rashad Eas


A fresh new single from Rashad Eas brings out a fiery cross between old and new school hip hop approaches that bring both a slightly nostalgic undertone but also a fresh style laced with character and energy that you just can't look away from.


"Perfect Flow" it's like a sucker punch to the gut and the fierce and vibrant style and approach to the whole thing is completely unstoppable to the point where you feel like this was just one straight freestyle or at least one straight take all the way through and you just heard it live.


The song leaves a heavy-handed impact and speaks volumes for the artist as this is the type of track that certainly leaves its mark and sticks with you for hours after the song is ended and the only way to satiate that is to listen to it again, which in my opinion is smart songwriting but I feel like Rashad just has a natural knack for performing like this.


One of the things I love about this track is how you can hear the different classic hip-hop influences shining through as you listen to the track, and at times the flow just seems endless and while this happens you get these great little breakdowns with old school samples adding fresh color and swagger to the song.


Maybe this track was just recorded live on the floor on one take, I'm not sure but it sure feels that way and even if I'm wrong about that, it certainly makes you want to see this live in person because if the energy is captured this well on record, then seeing it live must be intense.


I also dig how the song is pretty much clean and doesn't get super vicious at any point or negative either, so it's got this sort of bursting positivity and fire behind it that never lets up throughout the entire song.


There are elements of this song that make it feel not Timeless, but like it could have been on the radio anytime from the mid to late 90s through now and that is something that I can connect with because that's the time. I grew up in and the kind of hip-hop I really love.


I think that this song brings something back to the genre that it has been missing for a little while and it's got a certain spark to it that's addictive.


It's got electric energy and is completely excitable, it's not dulled down or cookie cutter, and it's got some depth, but it hits hard and just the right spots plus being able to bring in some of that vintage undertone pushes the song to the place where it needed to be.


The whole aesthetic of this track is nailed completely, and it definitely makes you want to pay more attention to Rashad Eas from here on out. I know I will be.


Upon listening to this single I took it upon myself to listen to some other releases from Rashad including an album dropped last year that's amazing and all of these releases really show a little bit of a different side to the artist and his songwriting, his collaborations, and his approaches.


I actually went back to 2018 and worked my way back to now on his Spotify page and that for me was entertaining because you can hear this sort of evolution in the artist as a person and as a performer and artist in general.


This is something I would suggest for you to do as well because there's something for just about everyone here and there are a lot of really unique hip-hop bangers across the board of these releases.


I would start with this single and check out the 2023 release called D.E.I. as this one showcased a bunch of different sides of the artist's approaches.


Check this track out as soon as you can and don't be afraid to turn it up because the louder it goes the better it sounds.


With the release of the new track, we wanted to have a chat with Rashad to find out more about the track and what's next.


Here's what happened.


RAG: This release has such a solid approach and has tons of character to it! 

How did this come about?


On a normal day creating in Bull City Studios, I’ll be working in DJ Green’s room. He’ll be playing music and we’ll be working on a concept that I came in with. On this particular day, we were wrapping up my album “The Branch”, and starting this new project I have called “The Leader’s Child.” Imagine, wrapping up one project and starting another one immediately. When we started DJ Green was playing music for me and we were making new music. He said I want to play something for you. I made it last night, and I don’t know what I want to do with it, but I feel like it is different. He played it and when I heard it, I immediately, thought, wow! He is coming into his own with this production. We worked for two hours and then as I was leaving, I asked him to let me get that song you played for me earlier. If I make something you like, then let me keep it, and put it out.


After I got home, I knew that I wanted to make a song that was fun, and not necessarily packed with a message. I also thought this beat was so hot that it would be easily likable, so I didn’t need to fight the music. Lastly, if I did this song right, others would want to jump on this beat. That’s why I wanted to do right by DJ.My guy Payne, was doing this outdoor tailgate during the NFL Season and I had just come from his event when I went to the studio the day I heard the beat. I made the first verse organic. I knew that I wanted to recognize every one of my music team and family on this one because I felt like I was doing something different that people would embrace. Plus, I wanted people to enjoy it when they hear it.For two days, I had one verse. DJ Green thought that it would be a good idea to get another voice on it. For some reason, I knew that this song needed to be introduced with my voice on it. Andre 3000’s new album “New Blue Sun” had just been released and there was all this talk about how he needs to rhyme. I love his new album and I respect that he didn’t produce any bars on this album. Then I thought that maybe it's time for the legends to let those they helped raise with their music, show them what maturity in hip-hop looks like. Perhaps it's time for the student to become the teacher, and that’s what inspired the second verse.

 

RAG: How did this all start for you musically?


Well, when you say “all start” I could talk about watching my grandmother play the piano in church as a child. I could talk about learning to play the trombone at age eleven and still playing in my music today. Then I could talk about how I started writing poetry which changed to writing lyrics. But because we are talking about Perfect Flow, let me stay more up to date. DJ Green and I have been actively working on projects during the pandemic. His studio became a haven for artists 2020-2023. He and I have been able to complement one another’s evolution. He has been allowing me to bring in samples, and to bring my trombone to the studio. When I am in the booth, I don’t have a problem taking suggestions or directions from Green when we’re recording. Green has also been improving his technique and so we both are in an influential stage with our music making. We both want to make the other sound and feel good about what we’re developing. With mutual respect and care for the other person, we can design something smooth, tight, and consistent.

 

RAG: What kind of things inspire songs for you? 


Current events inspire songs because I’m more interested in how people react when things are going on. For example, when I talk to my mom on the phone, she’ll be watching something on television that is about politics, and elections, and its never good news. With all the tragic things going on in the world, and there seems to be no break in sight, her nerves get worked up, and her stress levels rise, then I see the impact it has on her health. My mom is a civil rights activist who still fights for her community. Anyway, while she heals and gains awareness of what contributed to this, I am learning through observation. Then I want to create a song that I believe will help the listener. Next, I want to make a song that will make other lyricists want to rap about the same thing, because let’s be real, I’m forty-five years old. I have no interest in rapping about material things. At the same time, I don’t want to rap about taking meds but that’s not because I think it's corny, it's because I don’t think it's healthy. Therefore, I made a song that has a message of self-care integrated into it.

 

RAG: This release has some great approaches to it! Can you give us some of your biggest influences musically?


When you say “great approaches,” I think that means the flow, the word choices, the arrangement of the beat, and even the length of the verses on the song. I think that some people may compare the catchiness and the timelessness of the beat to the 90s era. But I hope that the lyrics of the song will help people enjoy whatever the generation. My biggest influences musically lately are the following:1) Bob Marley and The Wailers2) Eternal the MC3) Scarface4) Curtis Mayfield5) Earth, Wind and Fire6) Khruangbin7) JS200008) Joe Tea the Producer9) De La Soul10) Marvin Gaye

 

RAG: What are you doing when you're NOT working on music? 


I love to work out, so I am either jump roping, walking, or running. I enjoy writing, so I author articles that I use in my consulting firm. I am a public speaker and an educator. I could be working with a youth group creating art, or writing poetry, that are also learning how to improve their environment. Interestingly, I love talking religion and spirituality with people. I am a reader, so you’ll always find a book in my bag. I am reading, “I never thought of it That Way” by Monica Guzman, right now.


Who's in your headphones right now?


Beethoven Symphony No. 7Eric B & Rakim “Paid in Full”Masta Ace and Marco Polo Richmond Hill

 

RAG: Are you doing any live performances right now?


Yes, I am. I have one coming up in Raleigh, on April 12th, at 8 PM. Rumah, 415 Hillsborough Street. My guy Eternal the MC got me on the roster with some bangers! Juneteenth, I’ll be in Florence, SCMore to come.


RAG: Do you record these at a big studio, or do you have a home studio set-up?


I believe in going to the big studio. There are times, I want to bring in musicians and bring in my instruments. I need a big studio to do that. I often go to the Bull City Studios (DJ Green), Artist Mills International Studios (Michael Sup Reives), Pershing Hill Studio (Greg Elkins), and when I am in Birmingham, I go see Poa Beats at Westside Recording Studios.

 

RAG: What can your fans expect from you in the near future?


My fans can expect a Perfect Flow remix featuring Cypha Univercity. I have a new album, The Branch that will be coming in 2024. I may release another album, ELEMENTICULAREVOLUTIONARIAN, yeah try to say it. All of my music will include the entire Branch roster, so expect production from Joe Tea the Producer, JS20000, and DJ Green.You will also see me on other features, with BGodbody843, Eternal the MC, Brandon Barz Butler, Dakota Springs, and The Krunk Movement. Check out my viewpoints on the Heartwood Podcast.   

 

RAG: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?


Thank you for joining me on this journey. It has been some real-life ups and downs happening which puts me in a questioning state. I had been questioning whether I should continue or should I stop making music. I have heard that every artist asks themselves that question at some point during their career. Sometimes they ask it more than once. Now that people are inviting me and my music team to partner on content, you’ll see me and my family THE EASLEY BRANCH, in multiple places in 2024. 


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