Raashan Ahmad – Ceremony (Album Review)

Raashan Ahmad - Ceremony

Raashan Ahmad is a rapper that not enough people know about.  He started his career out as a member of the group Mission and also as a member of the group Crown City Rockers.  A small handful of people know of those two groups, but it seems like hardly anyone is aware of Raashan’s solo work.  He recently released this album, Ceremony, which, unsurprisingly, is receiving very little attention.  Let’s dive in.

First, I’ll talk about Raashan’s rapping.  A major part of the reason that I think that he deserves more attention is because I think that he’s a good rapper.  He’s never been an outstanding lyricist, but he has a good flow, a distinctive voice, and everything about him exudes positivity.  That last part is what stands out the most to me.  He’s easily one of the most positive rappers I’ve ever heard.  I don’t have a problem with negativity in hip hop, but it’s nice to see a rapper take a different approach.  That’s not to say that there isn’t plenty of positivity in hip hop, but no one is as consistently positive as Raashan and no one avoids sad or negative subject matter as much as him, either.  It’s impossible
not to be in a good mood while you listen to his music.  You can argue that he’s not the most technically impressive MC around, but you can’t dispute that he puts his heart and soul into his music.  He’s doing what he loves and he’s simultaneously spreading positive messages.  I have a lot of respect and appreciation for him and what he does.

Another reason that Raashan’s music always puts me in a good mood is his selection of production.  These beats are smooth, organic, neo-soul influenced beats, much like the beats on his past albums.  I’m unaware of who produced them (it sounds like it could very well be a band), but whoever it was did a good job.  These beats are relaxing and they give a very pleasant vibe.  To add to that pleasant vibe, a lot of the choruses on this album consist of sweet R&B vocals.  Between the lovely instrumentation and vocals, these beats are very nice to listen to.  Also, they fit perfectly with Raashan’s rapping, which makes them seem even better.  Admittedly, they don’t stray away from or improve upon the beats that he’s been rapping over for his entire solo career.  However, I really like that sound, so I’m not complaining.  If you ask me, this album is quite well produced.

I like every song on this album.  My favorite tracks are “Mbeguel (Love),” “The Remedy,” “Ease on Back,” “Who’s God,” and “Fly.”  Oddly enough, all of those songs are either at the beginning of the album or at the end of the album.  That’s actually a good thing, though, because the beginning and end are the two most important parts of an album.  The beginning is what’s supposed to capture your attention and the end is what’s supposed to leave you with positive thoughts about the album.  To be honest, if those five songs were in the middle of the album, it probably wouldn’t flow as well as it does.  I think that was good planning on Raashan’s part.  Either that or it was a complete coincidence that the track sequence worked out so well.  Either way, I appreciate the order of the tracks and I appreciate that every song on the album is good.

Overall, I think that it’s a good album.  The rapping is good, the beats are good, the track sequencing is good, and the overall vibe is good.  Unfortunately, it does have some flaws that prevent it from being as good as it could be.  For one, the album runs for just over an hour, so it could have benefited from having a few less songs.  Also, the beats rides out for too long on most of the songs, making me wish that they were a little bit shorter.  Lastly, as much as I like Raashan’s rapping, I have to admit that there’s very little variety in the topics that he raps about on this album, which causes some of the tracks to be less interesting than they could be.  Other than those few flaws, I like everything about this album.  I recommend it to any hip hop fans who like positive hip hop.  If you’re worried about it being “soft”, don’t be.  Macklemore is soft.  This is good hip hop.

Rating: 3.5/5

The thoughts of this article resonates the authors thoughts, not a general consensus of the website (unless otherwise stated).