If you've been wondering what the hell happened to real hip-hop, you obviously haven't been listening to Raashan Ahmad. The Crown City Rockers' nimble-tongued frontman's debut solo album, The Push, was one of the best recent examples of contemporary true school hip-hop to come out of the Bay (or anywhere, for that matter) in 2008. Raashan's flow is impeccable, and his topics avoid all the clichéd gangsta posturing and trendy commercialism which has turned the art of storytelling into the business of hustlenomics.
Raashan continues to make a name for himself as a poetic b-boy with a keen sense of history with the “Give Thanks” video. Released just in time for Black History Month, Raa's second vid off The Push (directed by Byron Chan of Beyond Cinema) bigs up “Malcolm [X] and Harriet [Tubman]” as the MC appears in various local locations spouting off on all the reasons he has to be thankful. The backing track's decidedly old-school feel (it's more than a bit reminiscent of something Poor Righteous Teachers could have made) goes well with Raa's suede Pumas and buttery lines like “finding lessons and directions as I step to the streets.” Peep the visuals here.