Jazz rap: a subgenre of Hip-Hop discussed ad nauseam by diehard fans. Whether you’ve been caught in a daze while bumping Tribe’s Low End Theory, or you know Blue Notes Records’ discography front to back, the music has birthed passionate listeners for a reason. While some heads might discount the music as being a relic of the past, the sounds of the underground still emit those feel good jazz vibes, even in today’s Internet Era.
Proving that there’s still an audience for that laid back groove is the Mt. Kisco, New York based rapper/producer, Roga Raph. Raph is a part of the new wave of emcees looking to expand upon those jazzy Hip-Hop cuts that many of us grew up with, in hopes that he could give both contemporary heads and new listeners, simply great music. This effort all begins with the release of his eleven track, au gratis debut, Visionary Shift.
Packed with dusty piano riffs and buttery soul samples, the free release gives off that old school feeling without coming across as either formulaic, or dated. As a graduate of Manhattan’s School of Visual Arts, as an Illustration major, Raph is also the graphic designer behind the project’s artwork.VIsionary Shift is Raph telling his story, but also having fun, by not taking this tale too seriously.
The album’s strengths is its sonic diversity. Whether it’s the chilled out, “Signz,” the debut, “Fck Whut They Say,” or the uptempo “In The Now” with its prominent Eckhart Tolle samples, Raph proves that he can ride with the best of them. Visionary Shift is now available for free download, so be sure to check for rap’s new best kept secret.