Kicks and Sweat

Within local hip-hop circles, there seems to be a resurgence lately of quality MC-ing, both in the live setting and on new album releases. South Florida has never been known for having a strong hip-hop scene (and it still doesn't), but individually, there's a sizable list of talented lyricists here, and Miramar-based rapper Rahsaan is quickly inserting himself into the forefront of the pack. With '80s swagger and crisp, didactic rhymes, Rahsaan has a mesmerizing style when he's on stage and a clear enough delivery that you can catch everything he says. That's not always the case with most MCs, but Rahsaan's flow and delivery only accentuate the story raps and fun wordplay that he's known for. It's what helped him land select dates on this summer's Rock the Bells tour and recently got him featured in URB Magazine's Next 1000 list. It's all put him in a good place as he prepares for the release of his latest project, Fly Paper Mixtape, which showcases a lot of the skills that the Georgetown, Guyana, native has been honing these past few years.

Although he was born in South America and raised between Brooklyn and Kendall, he's only been back in the local area for a few months, and he's already making an impact musically. This is his second release of the summer. He's working at a fast pace, and he says he learned a lot from touring on the Rock the Bells package.

"It let me know that the authentic hip-hop, not just the mainstream stuff but the real essence of hip-hop, still has a voice," Rahsaan says. "Even if you're not on TRL or 106 and Park, you still have a means of survival and can have a great living being an artist."

What's cool about his music and what stands out on the new mixtape is the way he switches between various styles. He's got songs that are perfect for the hood, others for the strip club, and some that are all about swagger and fly gear. As for what the transition has been like for him moving between New York, where he spent the past few years, and South Florida: "There's a pretty big community of real hip-hop, it's just hard to keep everyone alligned. I keep coming across all these real talented dudes. I just don't see a presence of everyone jumping on each other's tracks, getting collaborative mixtapes going, and flooding the market with the other side of Miami's hip-hop scene. The more lyrical, MC side. It'll take some time, but I'll fuck around and be the catalyst for that shit if I can."

Since he also calls himself a sneaker store terrorist, here's Rahsaan's top five favorite kicks of the moment.

1. Nike Dunks

2. Creative Recreations with double leather strap

3. Adidas shell toes

4. Adidas Stan Smiths

5. Greedy Geniuses

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Jonathan Cunningham