Album Review: Raashan Ahmad – Soul Power (2009)
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Potholes
The caveat with Soul Power is that it isn’t album. Nor is it an EP. And don’t say it’s a mixtape either. What is it? A collection of 13 new tracks from Crown City Rocker Raashan Ahmad, written and recorded while he was on the road touring in support of his last release (which was an album) Push.
The fact that Ahmad doesn’t see this as an album (even though it’s better than most folks’ albums), might work to his advantage. Without the weight of expectations, Ahmad is basically left talking about some things he’s been going through, the struggles of life on the road, money and whatever else he wants to touch on. His flow is dope, the verses are personal, and when he’s riding on top of production that lives up to the album title (polished, soul-heavy joints some of which sound like b-sides from Curtis Mayfield’s heyday) the result is some true hip hop shit—a dude with skills just getting some issues off his chest.
“Stay” is off the chain, and if the world is a true and just place, this track will find a home in regular rotation with DJs. The drums are banging, and iced with what sounds like a Meters guitar lick.
“Day After Day” is an anthem for grinding in the music business and wondering what will happen next, and “Money” featuring Alex Newman is a personal look at capitalism in the 21st century. Not on some broke MC shit, but on some ‘we all need money to live’ type business.
The only joint that I wasn’t feeling was “Lambada”,which sticks out from the rest of the pack, but not in a good way. This joint might get the crowd moving at a live show, but the uptempo digital beat just doesn’t fit with all the smoothness that surrounds it, although, since this isn’t technically an album, maybe that’s not fair criticism. Either way, don’t sleep on this music.