Rasheed Chappell has refreshing flow. His story telling abilities reminds me of hip hop legend Kool G Rap in his prime. Rasheed’s authenticity shines through. His album First Brick with Kenny Dope is that gritty basement boom bap sound hip hop fans around the world love. Check out our album review.
I met Rasheed Chappell at A3C hip hop festival last year. His live performance is an amazing experience as well. Personality and star power shines through. I think hip hop enthusiasts should get to know the man behind the music. I foresee him making major moves in the industry. What better way to get acquainted than a one on one interview?
When did you start rapping?
I started rapping for fun in one of my best friends Coop’s attic. After listening over and over to Black Sheep’s first cassette I wrote my first rhyme. I wish I had it, but I believe I began rapping seriously my freshman year of high school.
Who are your musical influences?
Too many to name, Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Stephanie Mills, New Edition, Nas, Rakim, The Roots. Just way too many to name. Music was very present in my early years, my moms had a crazy record collection. My pops had his Jazz, so I was just open to everything.
Tell us about your first project?
‘Future Before Nostalgia’ was a lifetime in the making, I feel it was a true collaboration between Kenny Dope and I. I think every song fits like pieces of a puzzle to give you a real clear picture of who Rasheed Chappell is as an artist and a glimpse into some of my ideals and things I value.
What’s a standout song for you? A song you were feeling like you really outdid yourself.
I can’t say all of them? Just kidding but “Building 8” was a song that lyrically is very complex yet simple to digest. I think “Stay Sharp” was very dense lyrically but the canvass Kenny provided makes the track just dance in the ear drum. I think I may have really put together something special on “Theology of War”, piecing that together and making it cohesive without sounding preachy was the goal. I feel I was able to do that, the cinematic track KD created coupled with Mishal Moore’s vocals, the Malcolm X sample, I feel it all came together perfectly. I could also say the same thing for “Break Loose”, to revise that 80’s cadence and have DJ Scratch cut up on a Kenny Dope track…yeah that is a special one.
Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?
I’ve already been blessed to work with quite a few artist and producers that I respect so this is a good one. I don’t have any names at this time but I’d love to work with artists who are passionate about their craft and are committed to telling their stories. Doesn’t matter if they are an OG an up and comer or a never heard of before. I’m just at a place where I’m moving towards things that I feel are dope and move me.
What current albums are in rotation on your playlist right now?
My NEXT one haha, ‘Opium’ by PF Cuttin and O.C., Seed x Nottz, ‘Live From the First’ by Pearl Gates, oh ‘All Praises Due’ by Torae, Vinnie Paz’s ‘The Pain Collector’, Wu Tang, Nas, Black Thoughts EP, Teena Marie, Snoh Aalegra, Baby Huey and that was literally me just scrolling through my music.
Tell us about ‘First Brick’ EP and the concept behind it. What video can we expect next? Upcoming shows? New music?
The concept is definitely picking up from where ‘Future Before Nostalgia’ left off and showing you the growth as an artist. It also serves as a more in-depth look into the man. It serves as a bridge between my first LP and what is to be my next. To make a stand alone album that connects to my story. I believe the next video will be for “Aiding & Abetting” featuring Daniel Son & CRIMEAPPLE. Yes and yes to both, however I want to keep those things under wraps until we it’s time to reveal all that we have going on. Definitely stay tuned though, much more on the way.
What do you think of the evolution of hip hop? Boom Bap vs Trap? Social media? Streaming services?
I’m a fan of evolution in all things, Hip Hop is no different. I don’t box Hip Hop like that, I like what I like personally, so I don’t categorize it as trap or boom bap I just listen to what I like. I think social media is dope because it allows the artist to shape their own image and direct connect to the people supporting their movement. With IG & FB live you can bring your fans into realtime shows, sessions, etc. It’s a great tool. Streaming is a tool as well, I think all the tools together coupled with good music that resonates with the people you have a recipe for success.
2018 has been a dope year for Boom Bap. Do you have a favorite album for 2018?
It has been a great year for music period, Rome Streetz, Meyhem Lauren, Cardi B, Em, Smoovth and so many others. I don’t have a favorite and I’d be biased to pick mine haha.
What do you think of the hip hop award shows that represent the culture?
To be completely honest, I don’t remember the last time I watched one.
Tell us something you would like to share with the fans …any hobbies? What do you like to do in your downtime?
I love to LIVE and learn and have new experiences. Travel, read, watch documentaries. Tell the same stories over and over again with my friends, I’m a sneaker head and a fan of fashion and all things creative. Rest as in sleep has become a favorite pastime since I never seem to get enough.
We like to ask a fun question ever so often. If you could form a hip hop super group who would you choose?
Everyone ever on Video Music Box PLUS ME!!!!!!
Special thanks to Rasheed Chappell for taking time to chop it up with us. We look forward to more dope music. Be sure to check out his latest project First Brick produced entirely by Kenny Dope — available now on all platforms.