This morning, we’re ringing in the day with smooth sunshine tracks introduced by our dear guest, Raw Poetic. The project of Jason Moore, Raw Poetic’s music dips into treadings of hip hop, jazz, folk, and soul. Instead of categorizing his work, Jason simply says, “what it sounds like is what it sounds like.” His production style follows this free form and flowing process, where finished products are not hindered by any certain categorical distinction.
Raw Poetic’s latest album, Laminated Skies, releases in just 5 days, on March 18. The album features many of Raw Poetic’s familiar collaborators, including Earl Davis, Luke Stewart, Patrick Fritz, and Damu the Fudgemunk. At its core, Raw Poetic describes this release as a “Jason Album,” one that draws particular breath from Jason’s experience.
Featuring many references to Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, the album includes Jason’s meditations of his experience as a Black man in America, and Northern Virginia specifically. Just as Ellison describes, this means feeling at once anonymous, hypervisible, and at times invincible; a space where it’s easy to also feel lost. Laminated Skies represents Jason’s work through this experience, a patchwork of genre and style, coming together into something that can only be described as Jason.
Raw Poetic’s selection
The Bongo Band - Apache
Raw Poetic: “This song is pretty well known in the B-Boy circuit, but I think it’s a quite necessary piece for anyone who is just learning about hip-hop or trying to learn how to rap. It’s a great beat to freestyle rap or dance to. I feel like this song should be played at some point every day.“
The Silent Years - Someone To Keep Us Warm
Raw Poetic: “I can’t remember if I played a gig with this band, or if I just saw them in DC one night; but they played this song, and I never forgot it. It has a good vibe. I believe they are from Detroit. I’m not sure if they even still exist as a band. I don’t know any of their other songs. But I like this one. It reminds me that anyone, in the right moment, can make a good song. As long as it’s from the heart.“
MC Solaar - Bouge De Là
Raw Poetic: “My mother made me study French when I was a young boy, and my sister had taken a trip to France. Since she knew I loved hip-hop, my sister sent me back this French Hip-Hop album. At the time, I didn’t even know hip-hop was popular in France. I loved this song. It opened me up to a whole new world of hip-hop. I’ve been a fan ever since.“
Raw Poetic - Cadillac
Sarah : “Such gentle melodies interlaced so carefully over each other, floating through the track like flowers in water. Raw Poetic describes this track as the healing process from a particularly turbulent relationship, one that he knew wasn’t going to last. The lyrics describe their story so beautifully, with the pendulum swings and so many other moments tinged with a special nostalgia, a proper goodbye. Love the watery quality created by this side swaying bass, xylophone, and smooth vocals, contrasting so nicely with Patrick Fritz’s higher guitar riff comp. A testament to the “Jason-ness” of this album, the track dips into hip hop, folk, and soul movements, but not lingering too long on any one genre.“
Damu the Fudgemunk, Raw Poetic - Power of the Mind
Sarah: “Raw Poetic is dominating this playlist, but there was simply too much to choose from. One of the many collaborations between Damu the Fudgemunk and Raw Poetic, this track is lifted from Damu’s alum Conversation Peace. Struck by the xylophone with the easy energy of the rap verses. Love the sax and piano openings towards the end, smooth :)“
DARGZ, Moses Boyd - Happiness
Sarah: “The piano and synth spirals weaving around the bass section are absolutely intoxicating. One of the latest singles from producer DARGZ, off of the Happiness EP. Really nice placement in the release, adding some instrumental breath before Hold On, Pt. 2, starting the EP nicely.“
India Blue - Magpie
Sarah: “Finishing off this eclectic selection with a track from India Blue’s 2022 album, The Circus Came and Left. Love the vocal layering on this one. Calming and yet celestial, a testament to India Blue’s self descriptions as faerie-folk. Wonderful for pulling yourself out of a sleepy morning.“
That finishes our playlist for this morning! Our thanks to Raw Poetic for his wonderful Sunday selection. Many thanks to Noémie Dijon for this episode’s stellar illustration!