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Hip Hop

Asheru – Gauteng (ft. Raheem Devaughn)

Asheru – Gauteng (ft. Raheem Devaughn)

SleeplessInSoweto (3)SleeplessInSoweto (3)SoundCloud Music Reviews Presents Asheru.

There’s a lot to like about Asheru. Not only has he clocked in his time as an established rapper, but he also heralds honorable values both in and out of the studio. His 15-year career includes being a critically-acclaimed hip-hop artist, educator, and promotor of the arts. As a music enthusiast and degreed professional, he knows how to deliver a message and how to make it sound good. His newest album, Sleepless in Soweto, is more than just a great title (and it is a great title). It’s a collection of songs dealing with inspiration, criticism, and faith. The track “Gauteng” is a salute to Johannesburg and encapsulates Asheru’s essence perfectly.

In the first seconds of the track, a groove is already established. The piano hook (echoing “Still D.R.E.”), the piercing snare drum, and Raheem Devaughn’s gospel chorus all give this track a laid-back feel: relaxing but still catching your attention. Once Asheru enters the track, your focus sharpens even more. Asheru takes the listener through his euphoric visit to Johannesburg, where he embraces the wonder and inspiration in “the land of gold.” The double-entente is simple praise, but it’s also a sincere compliment to the people of Johannesburg.

This is a humble rap song: a term that I wish I could use more often. Asheru’s discovered something monumental during his pilgrimage. He uses this song to profess his experience with honest respect. This song goes to show that with the right exposure, passion and belief are attainable for anyone: whether you’re a hip-hop artist or a scholar. Asheru has a rhythmic gift and he puts it to positive use in this number.

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Asheru is a hip hop artist, educator, and youth activist. He is widely known for his collaboration with Blue Black to form the Unspoken Heard, releasing the critically acclaimed album, “Soon Come” in 2001, and its followup, “48 Months” in 2003. Asheru has since released several 12″ singles, and collaborations with international producers with his progressive, genre-bending style of Hip Hop. In the last couple of years, Asheru has released two solo projects, “Insomnia Vol.1”, & “3 Stars, 2 Bars”, featuring collaborations with Talib Kweli, Raheem Devaughn, Phonte, Grap Luva, Kev Brown, Oddisee, and many others.

Asheru is also famously known for writing and performing the opening theme song of the popular TV series, The Boondocks. He went on to win a Peabody Award for his writing contribution to the show’s controversial “Return of the King” episode.

Lastly, Asheru is a professionally trained educator of 14 years and in 2005 founded Guerilla Arts Ink, a community arts and education organization based in Washington, DC. He is well known as a pioneer of the Hip Hop Education movement.



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