Seven years after dropping their underground classic, Future Before Nostalgia, East Coast emcee Rasheed Chappell has returned with his long awaited LP, First Brick, produced entirely by the iconic Kenny Dope. Standing at ten tracks, the LP is bursting with raw, unfiltered Boom bap fueled equally by Chappell’s immersive lyrics and Dope’s unbelievably fresh production.
“It was intentional to create something that could connect to my first LP and my next while still standing on its own,” explains Rasheed. “I treat every song as if the listener has never heard me before.”
That passion for the art is felt throughout First Brick, which pulls you in with its “Breaking Ground” intro and hits the ground running with “My Epic (Portraits).” For Chappell, this track perfectly captures the essence of the album—and he’s absolutely right. He crafts an instantly gripping narrative with his bars, which Dope complements with bluesy, beat-switching production. Really, it feels like you’re listening to a natural blending of the two genres—Blues and Rap—without it sounding the least bit contrived.
That vibe continues throughout the record and its hard-hitting singles, “101,”“Shorty Rock (Pt. 1),” and “Street Corner (feat. O.C.).” All three also received the video treatment courtesy of foundationDIGITAL FILMS, who bring that same raw approach to the visual realm. Their direction really makes you feel like you’re on the corner with Chappell and his crew, and that sense of reality plays a crucial part in First Brick being so immediately engaging. And considering how this body of work is the base of a new foundation, it’s safe to assume that more bricks are on the way from one of rap’s most promising talents.
First Brick boasts guest features from the likes of Lil Fame (M.O.P.), CRIMEAPPLE, DJ Scratch, Hus Kingpin, Daniel Son, Recognize Ali, Napoleon Da Legend and O.C., and is available now through all digital retailers and streaming platforms via Kay-Dee Records. CD and vinyl will be available soon in limited quantities.