October 9, 2014


Son Raw vapes that diesel.

At Passion of the Weiss, we don’t just rehash any old press release that lands in our inbox, but when I open brief that begins with “Today would have been DJ Rashad’s birthday,” it was hard not respond. I still haven’t full processed Rashad Harden’s death from this past spring. It still feels like a mistake in the fabric of the universe, something that would have been horrible at any point taht was then compounded by the fact that it happened just as the Teklife movement was beginning to realize its potential. I compared the loss to Dilla’s a few months ago, but in hindsight it’s probably more akin to DJ Screw’s passing – they both pushed pharmocological limits in search of a radically different beat, and left us just as they were about to break through to the wider world.

If there’s a silver lining, it’s that Rashad wasn’t just an innovator, he was a connector. Anyone who looked at the credits to his magnum opus Double Cup knows that nearly every track was a co-production with Spinn, Taso, Manny or Phil. The Teklife movement rolls deep and with Hyperdub’s help, they’re not about to let Rashad’s memory fade away. “Burn that Kush” is the first volley from the upcoming Nextlife compilation exploring Footwork’s latest phase. The video by Ashes57 may be the best visual representation of the movement since the days of grainy flip phone videos. It’s compulsive viewing for anyone frustrated by rap’s creative inertia but unwilling to compromise urban music’s emphasis on style and funk.

Nextlife drops 11/11 and it’s Hyperdub’s strongest compilation in a year where they’ve dropped plenty of them.

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