Tag Archives: Asheru

Top 5 Videos of 2014 #4: Asheru & The Funk Ark – Funky DC

I’ve always had a soft spot for songs about life in DC, full of hyperlocal references. “Funky DC” featuring Asheru and Sitali originally showed up on the debut 2011 album From the Rooftops by jazz band leader Will Rast’s afrobeat ensemble The Funk Ark. In 2013 Ash included it in his debut full length Sleepless in Soweto, providing an anchor to his hometown amidst the influence of South Africa.
Asheru and Chop N Shoot Films shot this video at DC’s inaugural Funk Parade on U Street back on May 3rd, featuring the Ballou High School Marching Band. Besides being a great memento of a fantastic block party, this authentic video shows how funky our city can get. Don’t you dare miss next year’s Funk Parade!

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Asheru – Make Magic video

DC rapper & educator Asheru‘s most recent album Sleepless In Soweto shifts most of its focus from his hometown to South Africa, working closely with artists there to craft lyrics and sound to represent both locales. While “Funky DC”, the last video of Ash’s we featured, celebrated the revitalization of U Street’s musical legacy, “Make Magic” takes us to the Soweto area of South Africa’s largest city Johannesburg. Directed by Asheru and Didier Ganza of So Afrika Entertainment, the video shows both traditional African Zulu scenes and pretty amazing contortions from street-level Pantsula dancers. Mark your calendar for Thursday September 11th when Asheru performs with dancehall band Explosion Negra from Columbia at Tropicalia.

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Asheru & The Funk Ark – Funky DC video

Jazz keys master Will Rast‘s afrobeat ensemble The Funk Ark made a big entrance with their 2011 album From The Rooftops on Thievery Corporation’s Eighteenth Street Lounge label. The mostly instrumental album featured a stand-out collaboration with Sitali and Asheru called “Funky DC”, a verbal tour through DC’s neighborhoods and landmarks. The languid and trippy funk tune showed up again last year on Asheru’s debut full length album, Sleepless In Soweto, providing an anchor to Ash’s beloved hometown amongst songs recorded in and about South Africa. A distinguished long-timer in the DC rap scene going back to the late 90s with The Unspoken Heard, Asheru also serves as the Director of Arts Integration at Ballou Senior High School in Southeast. All that preamble sets the stage for this kick-ass new music video for “Funky DC”. Ballou High School’s swank marching band kicked off May’s inaugural Funk Parade in the U Street neighborhood that surprised just about everyone with its success and popularity, and Asheru grabbed the opportunity to film this video with the talented youngsters live at the event. This could be the most DC music video ever. We are already looking forward to next year’s Funk Parade!

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Asheru – Mood Swing feat. Talib Kweli (Nappy Riddem Mix)

Hey DC, I got a hot joint for your Friday afternoon listening distraction. It’s great to see a tight-knit crew like the Fort Knox Recordings boys guesting, remixing and performing with each other, creating and maintaining one of the most interesting and cohesive scenes in the last few years. Saturday night H St. NE’s Rock & Roll Hotel hosts The Empresarios, Nappy Riddem and Asheru for a Winter Soulstice Party for the longest night of the year. To get you in the right mood, the Nappy Riddem duo of Rex Riddem and Mustafa Akbar updated Ash’s early 2000’s hit single Mood Swing featuring Talib Kweli into a drum & bass dance floor burner, and you can download and add this remix to your collection for free! Asheru is one of DC’s most underappreciated rappers, though that’s changing with the popularity growing of his full length album Sleepless In Soweto released last month. Tix are only $15, so grab them in advance and guarantee your Saturday night fun!

Here are the set times!
Doors 8 PM
Asheru 9 PM
Empresarios 10 PM
Nappy Riddem 11:30 PM

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Nappy Riddem, Asheru & Fort Knox Five @ Tropicalia 4/20

TICKET GIVEAWAY BELOW!
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The fine folks at Fort Knox Recordings are taking over U Street hotspot Tropicalia Saturday night for the auspicious 4/20 celebration. In addition to the regular weekly Sao Funky DJ night by Fort Knox Five, Asheru and Nappy Riddem will provide the funk and hip-hop vibes to start off the evening early at 7 PM. The duo of Nappy Riddem, Mustafa Akbar and Rex Riddem, is well loved after their successful reggae and funk album One World Sovereignty. New material from Nappy Riddem is coming soon, including this track Rocksteady, performed earlier this year at Jammin’ Java.

Asheru is one of my favorite rappers in DC. His smooth delivery and deft lyrics always amaze. Most well known for the Boondocks theme song, the 4/20 show will feature a rare appearance by Ash’s full band The ELs. Here’s Ash collaborating with Nappy Riddem on the title track of their album.

This will be a fantastic night of music, and Tropicalia is the perfect spot to get down with the funk. The cover charge for the Nappy Riddem/Asheru show is $5, but we’ve got two guest list spots to give away to one lucky winner! Just leave your email address in the comments or like the post on Facebook, and you’re entered to win. The winner will be announced Friday afternoon, good luck!

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Asheru – Clay Davis video

There are a lot of great rappers in DC, but my favorite is Asheru. His flow is steady, confident and witty, and his collaborations with Fort Knox Five and The Funk Ark show how deeply he knows and loves DC. He’s just as committed to educating youth as a teacher as he is to music and performing. This brand new video for Clay Davis comes from a FREE new mixtape called I.K.L.A. Radio Vol. 1 (Internationally Known Locally Accepted) mixed by DJ Dirty Ice and featuring Kingpen Slim, Omar Retnu and others from the DMV. And if you don’t know who Clay Davis is, add this to your Christmas list.

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