Monday, September 8, 2008

sightRIZE Questions Raashan Ahmad Of Crown City Rockers

1. sightRIZE: So we all know Crown City Rockers is the one of the greatest groups out there right now, how did that come together?
Raashan: Crown City actually met in Boston when the band was going to berkelee college of music. We met at random house parties and jam sessions when I moved out there from L.A. After about my 3rd winter there I needed to get back to the cali sunshine, I convinced the crew to move and we all moved to Oakland into one big house and have been making music and travelling the world together since.

2. sightRIZE: And before we get real into it, you are really wise and humble and that's why I look up to you. I do enjoy quotes as well and I really feel like you could drop something to leave us thinking about. Would you like to drop some knowledge in the form of a quote?
Raashan: THANK YOU! I love quotes too. I gotta share one of my personal favorites its by Emma Goldman and its "if I can't dance I don't want to be part of your revolution" I try to make my music with that in mind, making sure that I drop some words with depth and substance but at the same time I want to make sure it something people are gonna want to move too. I think too often "Conscious" rap is boring and the beats aren't that tight. That quote always comes in my head when I'm writing.

3. sightRIZE: So I feel like that one Crown City picture with you throwing your hand to the side and everybody posing/jumping for the picture a classic. How did you come up with that?
Raashan: That's actually taken on Max's (the drummer) street. We were actually loading up our gear for a gig and ran to the middle of the street to take that pic! Luckily our homie (and DOPE photographer) Scott Anderson was there and he took that pic. One of our favorites!

4. sightRIZE: So I feel like Crown City has tons of Jazz influence with Kat on the keyboard and all its really unique like no other, but please correct me if I'm wrong. So when you guys came together was this type of music intended or was it a spark that just hit?
Raashan: I gotta say it just came together. We all come from such different musical backgrounds and our music is like hip hop itself, a bunch of musical styles thrown in a pot and this is what came out. Obviously we are all heavily influenced by jazz but we never made a choice as to how our music should sound we just wanted to be true to ourselves.

5. sightRIZE: After hearing "Simple" I was really eager to hear more about your views on the HipHop game today. Would you like to give a statement?
Raashan: Honestly my views are ever changing. I think one of the greatest things about hip hop now is that there is so many different styles of it! So while commercial radio may be playing the same songs over and over there's lots of good hip hop below the radar thats happening right now.Lots of different groups that are really bringing the culture of the music IN the music. When I wrote "Simple" I was just fed up with hearing bad mc's and feeling like the scene was getting oversaturated with everyone trying to rap so I wrote that joint.

6. sightRIZE: What is the verse/song you are most proud of?
Raashan: Probably "Fight" off my solo record. I love the lyrics and the flow. Plus the beat is more on the party side and I love the "Conscious" lyrics over the "Party" beat.

7. sightRIZE: Like as you know we're young as in 14-16 in our crew. So we were curious to know what you did in your teenage years?
Raashan: rollerbladed,skated,tried to get girls and failed,ate lots of fruit loops,danced,hated my high school,played basketball/baseball,avoided gangs,tried to get girls and failed,made mix tapes,played video games,went to parties,watched t.v,tried to get girls and failed....

8. sightRIZE: Who is your favorite artist in the HipHop game?
Raashan: That's too hard. I cant answer that...KRS and Rakim are my super heroes but Nas is bananas too but A tribe called quest and De La Soul defined my hip hop story, but Pharoah Monch is a monster! but Mf Doom, Brother Ali, Freeway, J-Live, P.U.T.S., Talib Kweli, Elzhi and Blu are incredible too!!! and Soooooooooo many more.

9 sightRIZE: Any upcoming projects we should know about?
Raashan: YES! The new Crown City Rockers record is almost done and should be out early next year! Also My solo album "The Push" is out now. The New album from my fellow crown city rocker Kat Ouano called "Natural Phenomenons" is out now and Headnodic from Crown city has a group with Gift of Gab (Blackalicious) and Lateef the truth speaker called Mighty Underdogs that should be coming out in october!

10. sightRIZE: Anything that you'd like to end with?
Raashan: Thanks for supporting and keep supporting good music! Peace!Raashan

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