Rasheed Jamal
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Rasheed Jamal

Portland, Oregon, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2007 | SELF

Portland, Oregon, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2007
Solo Hip Hop R&B




"2015 Best New Band Poll Finalist"



FORMED: Started performing in 2011.

SOUNDS LIKE: A series of Southern-fried subreddits set to stark, minimalist beats.

Rasheed Jamal is a rising figure in Portland hip-hop, but he says he’ll never feel fully at home in the Northwest.

“I can’t use my regular voice here,” he says. “I moved here and realized people weren’t paying attention to me because I wasn’t talking fast enough. I had to learn how to keep up.”

Jamal is quick to clarify that he doesn’t really feel at home in his native Hot Springs, Ark., either. He left there for an open-ended visit to family in Portland at 21, shortly after his father died. Struggles with depression persisted, but Jamal adapted to his new surroundings the same way he adapted his speech. “You could be from fucking Togo, West Africa, or you could be from Scotland—I’ll find a way to communicate with you,” he says. “That’s supposed to be our principal thing as human beings, right?”

One of the first people he communicated with was esoteric local MC Cloudy October—a fellow Southerner with shut-in tendencies of his own—who made Jamal his de facto hype man. Appearing with Cloudy October helped rid Jamal of his considerable anxiety around live performance, and taught him a number of tricks that he’d later share with the members of the FRSH TRB artists collective he founded in 2011.

“I told them, ‘We don’t have to be holding hands and singing ‘Kumbaya’ or anything, but you share me with your fans and I share you with my fans, and then we’ll all have more fans,’” Jamal says.

Upon releasing his recent full-length, Sankofa—an urgent hybrid of personal and political themes with dark beats that are both club-ready and sharply critical of club-rap mentality—it seemed to appear everywhere, on local Facebook pages and Twitter feeds, due in large part to the collective mentality of FRSH TRB’s members.

That collective is just one way Jamal has built a home—for now—in Portland. “I told myself I wasn’t going home without something to show for it,” he says. “I don’t have it yet, but I’m close. My hair is long, I’m 25 pounds heavier, I’m making a different type of music. Portland has been a great chrysalis to develop within.” - Willamette Week

"Rasheed Jamal Releases New Album SANKOFA"

Hip-hop recording artist, Rasheed Jamal has released his highly anticipated album titled ‘Sankofa’ with the hope that people will get to know him better through his vulnerability. Photo via Rasheed Jamal's Bandcamp page.

Rasheed Jamal has been saying for a while now, that he would release the follow-up to his 2012 project ‘My Beautiful Ugly’ when ‘the time is right’—and now, it’s here.

Jamal, who’s based in Portland but hails from Hot Springs, Arkansas released the 13-track project titled 'Sankofa' this week to heavy anticipation.

Anchored by singles ‘Urban Decay,’ ‘Dope Tape (VLR),’ and ‘Condolences’-- a song dedicated to Jamal’s late father--the Hip-Hop writer says the album was stemmed from the phrase ‘don’t forget where you came from.’

“I wanted to allow people to get to know me for who I am. To give people a way to distinguish Rasheed from other artists who have similar messages,” says 28-year-old Jamal. “I also needed to let go of a lot of pain dealing with my father, feelings of rejection from my family and friends, and also to display why I feel like I'm one of the best to make rap music basically. Not only here in Portland, but on Earth. I don't have a regional vision for myself. I'd appreciate it if people could respect and support that about me.”

To listen to and purchase ‘Sankofa' visit Rasheed Jamal’s bandcamp : http://rasheedjamal.bandcamp.com/album/sankofa - Skanner News


After whetting people’s appetites with tracks like “Dope Tape (VLR),” “Urban Decay,” and “Condolences,” Rasheed Jamal has finally dropped SANKOFA. According to Rasheed Jamal, the title signifies learning from past mistakes and never forgetting where you come from.

Whether you’re in the car, the gym, or bumping it in your headphones, this project goes. Standout tracks include “Speeding in Slow Motion,” “Japanese Mammoth,” and the epic “E. Grand.”

If you’re looking to get a taste of the new project live, Rasheed Jamal will be performing at Kelly’s Olympian tonight. The show, presented by the good folks at Green Luck Media Group, also features Lang, BigMo, Naturally Grown Misfits, and will be hosted by LunchTime Legends’ Drae Slapz. For more information, check out the event page.

In the meantime, take a listen to one of the strongest albums to come out of Portland so far in 2015. - We Out Here Magazine


With the release of albums like D’Angelo’s “Black Messiah” and Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp a Butterfly,” 2015 has shown it still pays to make multi-layered, nerd-out-friendly projects. A little over halfway through the year, here are 10 Northwest releases worth listening to, not just all the way through, but on repeat and often:


Rasheed Jamal manages to deliver an album that both slaps throughout while touching on subjects like politics, materialism, the mistreatment of Black women, and the passing of his father with the depth that few artists can display. - We Out Here Magazine


My inbox is usually crowded, but every time I get something from my homie Ver$ace Van Londen I get a slight tingle. Not only do I love to see people I like further their craft, I like seeing dope things! Ver$ace has been one of the few videographers who has been up’ing his game with each release (the slow motion and speedy clips are CLEAN) and always doing something different, and he has also been working with a ton of different artists. The Northwest has always been known for ‘boom-bap’ and while I love this genre sometimes I want to nod my head to something with a little more bounce and Rasheed Jamal does that with ‘Dope Tape.’ Keeping the track without ignorance but giving you that ignant head nod ‘feel.’ - Respect My Region


Still working on that hot first release.



Hailing from Hot Springs, AR but residing in Portland, OR, Rasheed Jamal, has been consistently honing his craft in and outside of the recording booth since he started writing songs in his 5th grade classroom. 

This is apparent on his follow up to 2012's My Beautiful Ugly entitled SANKOFA. The album stands not only as a testimony to the authenticity and raw talent he possesses, but it also shows a unique blend of influences they mesh together as "ghetto gumbo" as Jamal explains in the record "Simply Beautiful (Super Ugly)".

Combining his influences rooted in Southern Blues and Jazz with his favorite musicians and rappers, Rasheed is all about the progression of the art form. 

His latest project SANKOFA is at times upbeat with an aggressive energy that also speaks on social matters with the casual eloquence of an old soul weary with worldly matters. With the growing buzz and energy of SANKOFA, Rasheed is pushing the mission of not only finding his own voice, but helping others find their own voice as well. 

Band Members