With all that (RAS) Riders Against the Storm does for the community and the culture, it’s easy (and foolish) to forget that they are as talented at making music as they are driven at making social improvements. If anyone needs a reminder (or an introduction) to their prolific music-making abilities, then you’re in luck, because they recently dropped their latest collection of songs in the form of Flowers For The Living. Chaka and Qi are as sharp as ever over a dynamic and varied range of production, giving us everything from modern-era hip-hop stylings to outright dance tracks, all of which firmly fit into their aesthetic and sound completely natural. The lead singles set a high bar, but there was never any doubt that (RAS) couldn’t meet (if not exceed) those expectations, and as usual, the dynamic duo came through in stellar fashion. If you can spare a few bucks, cop the album from their Bandcamp page, but otherwise, find it on your favorite streaming site and run those numbers up!
The adage of ‘give me my flowers while I can smell them’ has become an ethos that is gaining rapid popularity, as many people often find themselves regretful when it becomes too late to give someone the praise that they deserve. It is quite possible that this new cultural awareness may get a boost in the form of Flowers for the Living, a song as self-explanatory as it is catchy. Chaka and Qi’Dada bar up the Ayma-produced track (as they are known to do) while Clarence James shines on the hook, and thanks to director @JustinHCinema, the track is given a colorful and vibrant visual counterpart full of the life that it celebrates celebrating. It may be a little early for a summer jam, but if this track ends up having some legs, it’ll definitely serve as a proper candidate due to its immense amount of feel good vibes.
Riders Against the Storm (RAS) have carved a name for themselves in regards to two very specific things : forward-thinking music and a true passion for dancing. Their artistic, political and community acumen certainly cannot be denied, but the duo certainly excels in the original two areas mentioned. Therefore, it’s no surprise that their latest single, the incredibly catchy Red Lights, fits both bills. Sonically, the song leans in the direction of afro-futurism (in my opinion), with it’s upbeat synthesizer-based sound. Add to that the energy-based lyrics and the wonderful hook courtesy of Tameca Jones, it’s almost impossible to ignore this as a sure shot dance track. Stream or download the track from your favorite online streaming service, and keep an eye out for more new material, hopefully soon!
As the majority of the world remains locked inside due to shelter-in-place measures, many of us are forced to live life as it once was through our memories of what was. Dance parties tend to be one of the things that people long for, which is what makes (RAS) Riders Against the Storm‘s update to their 2008 single Is It? special, among other things. The remix, courtesy of Ayuma, has a bounce and vibrance that pulls you in, and the accompanying dance footage (including footage from (RAS)‘s Body Rock Ten Year Anniversary) bolsters that pull by nearly encouraging the viewer to get up and freestyle dance along with the footage. This dose of mood booster is definitely a strong way to start the week running, so dig it, leave a like and a comment, and share it around for everyone to enjoy.
Qi Dada, one half of the award-winning Austin-based duo Riders Against The Storm (RAS), has always been a sharp with the tongue as she is defined with her vision. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that the lead single for her upcoming EP Mammy’s Money would be the appropriately titled and themed Black Girl Payday, an absolute banger of a track where Qi Dada flexes multiple styles and levels of energy to create the first anthem of the new decade. Plain and simple, this is a banger in every definition of the word, so don’t sleep on it. Share it around, leave a like and a comment, and do your part in helping the inevitable rise that will occur.
One thing I like about (RAS) Riders Against the Storm is that they have a strong sense of where they come from, both culturally and creatively. After a long run of success in the wake of their relocation to Austin, it seems that the group has been taking a bit of time to reassess their journey and reflect on the past, and in a couple of instances, that has resulted in new material born from the old. In the case of In The Light, a single that the crew already had released with a video, the decision was made to have producer Ayuma take a stab at the remix, while footage of Uhura (Michelle Nichols) from the original Star Trek series is used to bolster the sense of having a groundbreaking spirit. I will always support new material from (RAS), but if their reflections of the past continue to result in strong output like this, I don’t mind them looking back as well.
Riders Against the Storm (RAS), more so than any other group I am lucky enough to consider a peer, embody a fullness of culture that is sorely lacking in hip-hop today. Not only do they represent where they were born, raised, and currently reside, but they have a keen knowledge of their music and cultural roots across a wide span of eras, even down to the indigenous roots of the rhythm and dress. For Reminisce (Ayuma Remix), the duo teamed up with producer Ayuma to create a trip down memory lane with a driving beat as the tour guide. The lyric video further embraces the influences of each group member individually, as well as (RAS) as a collective, and it hits all the right nostalgia-centered marks. Leave a comment, like the video, and share it around so everyone can enjoy and do the same!
One of my favorite things to do as someone with a modicum of a voice in the Austin hip-hop culture is to share other creators that I find high caliber and inspiring. Doing this through mixes has always been a favorite way to do so, but it’s been a while since I dedicated time to doing so. With so many talented acts from or based in Austin, it’s impossible to get them all in one sweep, so Escapism : Southern Comfort reaches for the vibey side of things… all of my peers are substance-based, but these are acts that I consider high style as well. Direct peers like Riders Against the Storm (RAS), Cory Kendrix, anom, PNTHN, MC Homeless and Chris Conde, wallaby and bobbes, Ddotelles, Click-Clack and more get shine alongside established acts with Texas roots like BROCKHAMPTON and Travis Scott. I’m happy with this one, and hopefully folks dig it enough to spread it around!
Austin-based hip-hop outfit Riders Against the Storm (RAS) are truly an inspiration in regards to how you can take your passion and let it lead you to new opportunities. The latest of these opportunities includes the recent filming and release of a pilot series titled UPLIFTED where (RAS) travel around the country (and eventually the globe) interviewing people of note. The pilot showcases an interview and birthday party for East Austin resident Richard Overton, who recently turned 112, making him the oldest living man in America and the third oldest in the world. WIth such a strong episode ride out of the gate, I am looking forward to seeing what else the crew can cook up.
It’s late August, and in Austin that means folks are gearing up for RAS Day, a celebration of the Austin-based powerhouse that is Riders Against the Storm, all that they do for the community, and the overwhelming positive energy they’ve brought to the music scene. With this year’s RAS Day gearing up to be something special, it’s only fitting that the duo dropped a new song and video in preparation. OverUnder finds RAS waxing poetic on taking action and not being passive in regards to both your support of and your contributions to your culture, hip hop or otherwise. The video is a simpler affair than past videos, but still effective with it’s striking color palette and it’s portrait-esque portrayal of RAS and friends. Tracks like these hit that much hard with RAS laying them down, as you can almost feel the ‘walk it like I talk it’ mentality emitting from their lyrics. The fact that the track, a collaboration with Walker Lukens for his Song Confessional music project, was conceived, written and produced in two hours is a testament to that realness, as well as the message of not accepting limitations in your quest. Great work from a great squad doing great things.