Born in Washington DC and raised in the heart of the south, Radio Rahim grew up in a diverse multi-cultural home. His mixed ancestry includes Muscogee and Persian origins. As a true artist Radio Rahim would express his creative thoughts with a paintbrush and canvas. But it wasn’t until he was in middle school that he discovered his musical side stepping up to a challenge by his friend Krant to sing the vocals for “Stairway to Heaven” in a talent show, which sparked his love for performance.
He quickly developed into an eclectic, charismatic and motivated hip-hop artist. Sharing the stage with Brother Ali, OneBeLo, RJD2, Blueprint, Sage Francis, J-Live and many others. Radio Rahim’s recipe for sound is found in the soul of the art form, Boom bap. His sharp lyrical flow comfortably rides over instrumentals allowing enough space for grit as well as for melody and attention to details.
Radio Rahim whose previous releases include Borne Phoenix (2005), Let The People Know, produced by Panik of Molemen Records (2011)and Raw Tranquility Mixtape, Volume 1 (2012), has just dropped his latest 10-track album, IN FULL EFFECT. The beats are a reminder of the East Coast, mid-90s style at its best and the rhymes are timeless. From beginning to end, IN FULL EFFECT hits all points and does not disappoint. It remains solid throughout.
The production is tight with the diverse sounds and beats produced by Confidence (Ill Adrenaline Records) making sure that the album never gets boring. Jayson Whitmore (Penumbra Recordings) put down the final mixing touches to keep everything clean and uncluttered.
Radio Rahim and his crew understand that the beats and the delivery and most important in contributing to how lyrics translate. The loops are simple and perfect, the beats hypnotic but with a definite hook, allowing Radio Rahim to flow across them naturally and with utter ease.
It’s simple really: put this album in your player and see how many times you listen to it continuously, it’s going to be more than two or three times. IN FULL EFFECT is the kind of album that you play over and over again. There is nothing particularly innovative or groundbreaking about this album, but Radio Rahim blends so seamlessly with the minimal but stellar production, that it’s easy on the ear and totally hypnotic.
Almost every song is well crafted, lyrically and musically. The inspired beats crackle with subtle energy that never overpowers and all the songs are laced with choruses that make you want to groove, nod and stomp along. Standouts for me include, “Race Is On”, “Voice Of America (feat. Qadir Lateef)”, “These Streets”, “Anyone”, “Death Row Flow” and “Advance”.
All throughout IN FULL EFFECT has a potent undercurrent that pulls you like an undertow you just can’t escape. These days rap has become totally commercial and more about money than actually producing an album with solid beats, lyrics and social themes (the primary reason why rap even exists). On this album Radio Rahim has tried to stay away from the commercial part of the industry though, giving his music a real authentic feel!