Photo by Gary Williams
“New Riders Against the Storm” is pretty much all you need to say to get a local hip-hop head excited, and with good reason. Chaka & Qi Dada, the husband-and-wife duo that comprises RAS, have been perfecting the art of societal commentary coupled with community engagement since their move to the Live Music Capital years ago, earning them the Austin Music Awards for “Band of the Year” in 2014 and 2015. Riders Against the Storm’s contagious live performances and affinity for moving a crowd have also earned them an opening spot for acts like Wu-Tang Clan, Talib Kweli, Nas, Rakim, Devin the Dude, ?uestlove, KRS-One and George Clinton.
The latest offering from Riders Against the Storm is “Mali,” a single produced by Third Root collaborator Reggie Coby and Austin-based multi-instrumentalist/vocalist/emcee Mobley. Reflecting on the release of “Mali” last Friday in tandem with an accompanying music video, Chaka describes, “feeling strongly at the time of writing the verse that people try to get in your way, or ignore you, thinking that somehow they can ‘play you’ or stop you, but nobody can stop what is destined for you. We feel that we are destined for greatness, and this song is an acknowledgement of that fact. The hook is a direct connection to this sentiment as we are paying homage to Mali, one of the greatest empires ever on the planet…Our greatness is embedded in us. If we tap into that, we can find ourselves. When we say ‘been popping Mali,’ we are saying that our contributions to art, culture, science, everything, been popping, not how it gets ignored or denied.” Listen below.
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