DJ Rashad is an electronic music legend from Chicago who has been instrumental in the evolution of Chicago Juke music as well as the sub-genre of footwork music. Rashad’s newest LP, “Double Cup,” is his debut for the label Hyperdub and is being touted as one of the best representations of the footwork genre to date.
DJ Rashad, whose real name is Rashad Harden, does a great job of mixing the fast-paced sounds of electronic music with some great samples that make it sound like it could be a hip-hop instrumental tape. The high-powered bass catches your ear right off the bat with the song “Feelin.” This track almost eases you into the album while still introducing the loud and contrasting sounds heard throughout the tape.
I love the way Rashad uses minimal vocals on the album as another instrument on the songs. The track “Pass That S—” is a perfect party anthem track, which shouldn’t be a surprise coming from DJ Rashad, who is very much entrenched in the Chicago party scene. The track is definitely a favorite of mine, and it’s sure to keep your head bobbing constantly.
DJ Rashad takes the footwork genre to places it had not gone in the past on this LP. DJ Rashad mixes his techno music background with a southern hip-hop influence to create some very unique sounds.
“Double Cup” does tend to lack cohesiveness, but this may be what makes the album stand out. The sounds tend to be contrasting heavily from track to track, but there is a noticeable shift from a more airy feel in the beginning to a more fast-paced electronic filled ending. The songs “Let U No” and “I’m Too Hi” really put you in the mindset of a house party where you’re dancing the night away.
I would love to hear a rapper like Juicy J cover the song “Drank, Kush, Barz” and hear it bang in the club all night or hear the heavy techno sound of the song “Acid Bit” pierce through a raging house party. I think the genius behind the music on this album is that it can relax you and also make you want to get on the dance floor at the same time.
This album’s versatility is what makes it worth a listen. With the help of his friends and key players from the Chicago Juke scene such as DJ Spinn and DJ Taso, DJ Rashad has created a masterful project and one you can play in any social setting. Next time you’re headed out to have a good time with your friends, I’d recommend throwing on the sounds of DJ Rashad to get the night started.