Tired of hip-hop that seems to be stuck in the past or trying too hard to be the future? Well, Brainfeeder artist Ras G will have you know that they're actually the same thing. An instrumental hip-hop artist bred in south L.A., his new album Back On the Planet (out today) continues his explorations of time and space through some of the most infectious and trunk-rattling beats you'll hear this year. We spoke to Ras about what makes his sound so out of this world. Also, he tells us what humanity needs to learn about time.
You grew up in South Central, but your music has always had these other-worldly out-of-body elements. Do you feel growing up here shaped how you communicate with the universe?
Yes and no. It connected me to a lot of different people, but it wasn't getting me that voice back or that reception. What I'm doing here is like a representation for them cats who never made it but always had that outer voice of sound. South Central is another world within itself in Los Angeles. It's the center of it all. Most people run from the center, they run from the heart. It's why I use so much bass, it's the sound of the streets. It's all about that low-end. That bottom. I would always make a lot of different sounding music, but as long as it had that low-end element, it could connect to all those who couldn't understand everything else that's going on but at least they could say it's knocking.
You've had a longstanding interest in the concepts of space and time. What's one universal truth you wish more people were aware of?
Timelessness. The continuum of everything. Nothing's changed. Everything is the same thing over and over again. There's no time with this music we're doing, so keep it timeless. People are dealing with someone's else's time and not their own time. Once they're good with their time, it'll be their own thing. Once you're on your own time, you'll find out a whole lot about yourself with your creation and your process. You ain't gonna have no worries any more, keeping up with someone else's style. You'll be on your own style. I held this record for two years and it still feels good and speaks to me in a certain way. It still stands, it's timeless.
The press release for Back On the Planet calls it your “Most Complete Demonstration to Date.” Tell us about that.
Well, listening back to this record, it feels like I'm looking into the sound mirror and seeing and hearing all the different elements of myself, the good and the bad. I feel I got to breathe a little bit with this record. It felt well rounded to me. I invoked a lot of different moods on this record. It was good to hear back and have a story for why I did what I did.
The album is credited to Ras G and the Alkebulan Space Program. Do you find the limitlessness of space inspiring or restrictive?
I find it limitless, that's why that record can be the way it is instead of being a certain type of beat record. Space is endless. I can go anywhere and I can go no-where if I want to. Space is no-where and everywhere. It's the high and low, everything and nothing. It's everything I want it to be.
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