Rashad had been recording for at least a decade, but it was just in the last few years that he really began to take off. And as he rose in popularity, his music just got better, weirder, more original, and more jaw-droppingly out-of-left-field. Rashad took footwork, a rigidly utilitarian music crafted primarily for battle dancers, and turned it into a field of limitless possibility - a zone where rap and soul samples collided with house and jungle and YouTube jokes, and where party jams joined with deep pathos. Where so much dance music feels like it's running on fumes, Rashad gave us a sound that felt genuinely, thrillingly new. The sound will live on, and it will keep "Footworkin' on Air," as one of Traxman's songs puts it, but no one made it soar like Rashad did.
Rashad didn't. He didn't just want to force outsiders to look at his city - he wanted to invite them in and share it with them. "4 the Ghetto," off Rashad and DJ Spinn's 2010 collaborative album by the same title, isn't his flashiest or trickiest production (compared to "Space Juke," its follow-up on the album, it practically feels prude). But there’s some ineffable quality to tracks like this, ones that animate a room with only a few essential elements, no bells and whistles, where you almost suspect the secret to its power is pure heart. "This is how we have fun where I'm from. Are you down? Come on then."
So much about club music like footwork lives in the beat: where the pummeling bass or snares pull your insides out onto the dance floor, forcing your feet to follow along in whatever way they can. So rarely in club music does a set of lyrics convey that very visceral feeling. On "I Don't Give A Fuck," the combination of the two shows Rashad at his wiliest. The setup is minimal and intense: Wavy layers of quietly throbbing synths abruptly cut to an onslaught of frantic, paranoid bleeps. "I don't give a fuck," whispers a voice into ether.