I remember the first time that I hung out with Rasheed Jamal. He had a striking presence. He seemed to have a laser-like focus, but also a willingness to let loose and be goofy, finding equal value in both. But whether he is making jokes or divulging life experiences and philosophies, Jamal always gives you the feeling that he is present in those moments with you.
That presence is most apparent in his live performances. With some performers it is their physical stamina and energy that propels their live show. And while those are obvious strong points of Jamal’s, it is his confidence and intention behind his performances that draw crowds in to the messages he is communicating.
Jamal’s most recent album, INDIGO CHILD (U Ain’t The Only 1!), displays the depth of his rhythm and rhymes with a wide array of production and beats. It is a balancing act of heavy, haunting jams like “Muddy Waters,” which shows off his ability to spit rapid-fire lyrics, and more laid-back jams like “Prodigy Knows Best,” which has a neo soul feel that allows Jamal’s lyrical delivery to really fall into the pocket of the rhythm.
Jamal’s art only grows stronger with time, and his curiosity and desire to seek knowledge and gain more understanding of our existence and the human race seem to only benefit his creative endeavours. His point of view is intriguing and inspiring and he continues to shine as one of the best live performers in the Pacific Northwest.