I almost totally impractical. I can’t change a plug, although I vaguely remember being show how to in my science lessons at school. I can’t put shelves up, and as far as I can try to use power tools (without causing myself significant injury) I seem to have they have this mind of their own in my hands, drilling holes miles away from my careful pencil crosses. I’m about as far away from Nick Knowles (for non-UK readers, he’s a likeable and seemingly endlessly practical TV presenter that mucks in on DIY SOS) as any living person could be.
But I can play tunes. Since I was seven years old I’ve been just able to play tunes on things. Most things. I’ve played, well, loads of instruments in loads of different sorts of groups and bands since that point my father walked me across the road to one of the neighbours who gave me this shiny brass thing to have a try on. I may not be brilliant, but this modicum of talent has allowed me go all over the world, getting away with it. More than that, it gave me a love of music, all music. It consumes large parts of my day, thinking about it, listening to it, judging it. It consumes a large part of my house too, records in piles all over the place, cd’s infecting tables, spaces on the floor, and shelves. Lots of shelves.
So it’s sort of nice listening to Raashan Ahmad’s new track, Music. The San Francisco rapper has forged a career for himself both solo, and as the front man for the Crown City Rockers. He’s worked with hip-hop royalty including including Chali 2na of Jurassic 5, Gift of Gab of Blackalicious, Aloe Blacc and also Greg Errico of Sly and the Family Stone.
For this new track he’s drafted in one of our favourites, London’s Ty, and Australian Soul Siren Sarsha Simone, and it’s a homage both to the rappers love of music, but also picks out the things that they listen to, and for, and what they do it for. That’s the nice thing.
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Better than that though is the track itself, with this dirty funky brass laying down this laid back groove, enhanced as only it can, by the handclaps that are so beloved of most of us here at Backseat Mafia. Simone’s voice soars over the chorus, before the trumpets and trombones take hold again. There’s no winner here in the MC’s, both giving us this brilliantly languid delivery that disguises the sharp rhymes.
It’s taken from Raashan Ahmad’s album Ceremony, which dropped in April (forgive us, the gods of hip-hop for we have sinned, and missed this) and is a must for fans of jazz/funk end of hip-hop.
So, turns out that when I’m not playing it, or listening to it – I’m writing about it. Shame really this track kept me gripped, because the locks gone on the bathroom door, that joiner between the carpet and the wooden floor has come away, there’s this shelf that needs………….