RECAP: Rashad ‘Elev8s the Game’ at Hometown Holiday Show

“From the city of Columbus where we represent our own,” singer-songwriter-producer Rashad sang to the hyped crowd during his performance of “Headphones” off his EP Museum at the first annual Turkey Day Jam in Columbus, Ohio. Held at Scully’s Music-Diner, the city’s native was the last to perform, as local talents took to the stage before him in the coming-together of music for the holiday break. The event provided the opportunity for local artists to shine, consisting of mostly rap acts and one R&B singer. But Rashad’s set proved to be a culmination of both genres, as his music effortlessly mixes the two, and the crowd soaked up the hybrid sound.

The singer’s set (which consisted of tracks from his debut EP Museum) was short, yet satisfying. Wearing a deep orange button up, jeans, a fitted cap and backed by a DJ, he began his performance with the intro “It’s Me Again”; the mostly-male crowd rocked and bobbed their heads in unison. He followed that up with “Headphones” and the crowd favorite “Let It Be Known,” to which everyone broke down in their individual groove after he ordered the crowd to ” let it ride” on the song’s synth solo at the end. Rashad delivered “Machine Gun” and “I Wanna Love You” in a way that had the joint bumpin’. He also made sure not to leave out the album’s interludes. “Tell me are you ready to elevate the game?” he passionately crooned to the soul sample.

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Where the rapper’s bars prior to Rashad’s set consisted of B-words, P-words, and incessant talk of that green stuff, Rashad literally “elev8ed the game,” being that the content of his music focuses on self-awareness and positivity. He took time out to relay a powerful message to the crowd before performing the socially-conscious “Be True” with guest PA Flex, a message of peace and tolerance. “We have to stop all of this negativity in our community,” he addressed to the crowd, alluding to senseless violence and hatred. Before performing “How I Feel,” he took the time out to acknowledge his late father, who was a large influence on his path to music. He then went in to the last song of the night, “For the Life of Me,” having men with the toughest demeanor in the venue sway to the universal, heartfelt message. The singer exited the stage without performing the album’s first release “The Return,” opting to play the track instead, along with “Jam (That’s My Sh*t).” But that didn’t deter the crowd from leaving; they stayed around and sang every word.

“Museum” will be available on iTunes on January 15th as a result of the world’s growing awareness of the talented musician who’s been in the game for a while. Be on the lookout when Rashad comes to a city near you if you like honest, soulful, positive music with an element of grit, which makes for a yummy musical meal. Oh, and make sure you’re ready to elevate.