Raashan Ahmad (Crown City Rockers USA)
Raashan Ahmad poster by RETALI8
Raashan Ahmad is about hip hop with soul, straight up. Comin’ outta Oakland, Californa, Raashan formed his first crew Mission in ’99, and the man has been spitting his smooth, laid back style of rhymes ever since. After releasing an album and a few 12″s, Mission went on to become the Crown City Rockers. With Raashan as front man, the Crown City Rockers sound is easy going conscious hip hop. Their trademark sound is due to the dominant use of live instruments as opposed to sampling, and lyrically there is a strong old school influence: good-time lyrics with feeling and references to bboying, graffiti and real hip hop culture. Their combination of intelligent lyrics and soulful jazz infused beats that have earned comparisons to cats like The Roots, A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul.
Raashan’s first solo album The Push dropped in 2008 which while not a huge change of direction stylistically showed the man can hold his own as a solo artist. Not a crew to sleep, Crown City Rockers released their album The Day After Forever in 2009 and this tour is to celebrate Raashan’s new solo album For What You’ve Lost, released late last year.
Paper Plane Project
Raashan Ahmad will be supported throughout his entire Australian tour by Sydney/Perth based production duo Paper Plane Project who just dropped their debut album Pacific Connection. Already named by Rolling Stone as one of the top ten Australian bands to watch out for, Paper Plane Project have a refreshing sound unlike anything else going on in Australian hip hop. Members Mason Kimber & Nick Bennett formed the group after a crate digging mission to Brazil (tell us, who starts projects after MP3 digging missions? vinyl forever baby!) and started making beats from a bedroom studio in Perth. After releasing their debut 12″ in 2008 the boys decided to venture abroad to expand their musical horizons.
A year living in Brooklyn, New York gave them the chance to pick up a huge arsenal of old records, vintage synthesizers and samplers plus a piano, as well as the opportunity to collaborate with the local funk bands of New York. They soon enlisted session musicians and laid down their album, recording live drums, guitar, bass and horn sections all from their small studio in Brooklyn. Alongside musicians, being in NY also opened doors for them to work with an impressive lineup of guest vocalists on their album, featuring guest appearances from Aloe Blacc (Stones Throw), Raasham Ahmad and Londoner Lucinda Slim from Zap Mama amongst others. Pacific Connection is an album of smooth, old school inspired soul beats, with a feel-good Summer vibe and a sound blurring the lines beween 60s soul, 70s boogie, 90s boom bap and Brazillian Samba beats.
Raashan Ahmad & Paper Plane Project Australian tour dates:
Thursday January 27
Bar Open, 317 Brunswick Street Fitzroy
Saturday January 29
Dust Tones presents: Raasham Ahmad & Paper Plane Project plus Astronomy Class Sound System (Elefant Traks), Mike Who, DJ Ability, Noel Boogie, Gabriel Clouston & Bentley
Tone, 16 Wentworth Ave Surry Hills
Sunday January 30
Raashan Ahmad DJ set
Ching-a-Lings, 133 Oxford Street Surry Hills
Friday February 4
Raashan Ahmad & Paper Plane Project plus Assembly Line, Rok Riley, Ben M & Taku
The Bird, 181 William St Northbridge
Afterparty: The Manor, back of 22/663 Newcastle Street Leederville
Saturday February 5
Aloe Blacc, Raashan Ahmad & Benji B
The Bakery, 233 James Street, Northbridge
Sunday February 6
Raashan Ahmad & Paper Plane Project
Malt Bar, 26 Dunn Bay Rd Dunsborough