Kiron Rasheed (a/k/a Kiron R. Dawkins) is a New York City artist who is bringing back the golden era of old-school East Coast Hip-Hop. Musician, emcee, producer, songwriter, singer, entrepreneur and philanthropist; Kiron has the experience and skill to trade bars with the best of them. The rapper got started making music professionally in 2017 with his debut single, “We Gotta Do Something.” However, he’s been writing rhymes since he was in grade school.
“Head Start” is Kiron’s debut full length album, and it is a welcome arrival for any fan of NYC’s Hip-hop heyday. From the first beat of the introductory track “Long Awaited,” it is clear that the record is borne of the days when emcees like Eric B & Rakim, Big Daddy Kane and EPMD ruled the New York airwaves.
The production on “Head Start” mixes R&B, Pop and Rock instrumentation with old-school breakbeats and uplifting vibes. On tracks like “Ask About Me” they’re happening at once. That song’s hard rap verse is countered by a soulful and catchy chorus performed by guest vocalist Leah Rich. Throughout the record Kiron is joined by a talented array of collaborators. “Ba Lee Dat” is a fun freestyle collab with rapper Barry Black, set to a cinematic synthwave beat.
On the track “Legacy” Kiron talks about the importance of the city in his life as he recounts stories of Hip-hop, family and the mark we make upon them. NYC is a constant presence on “Head Start.” On the chill slow jam “Be in Love,” the emcee escorts his date through some of his favorite city scenes. “New York Original” is a fist pumping anthem to the greatest city on Earth, complete with a Rick Rubin/Def Jam style Heavy Metal guitar track and some badass howling from Carter Perryman Sr.
Although the overall vibe on the record is positive, Kiron is also realistic. “No More” looks at the reality of being black in America and features a powerful performance from guest singer Antoine Quick. On “My God” Dawkins examines the decay of society as a whole. Over a funky piano bass riff and a classic Hip-hop breakbeat he paints a picture of paradise that could be, if we all got a little Jesus.
The record ends on the song “Better Days.” Over a funky groove Kiron delivers a sermon as serious as a heart attack. He pulls no punches as he calls out our society’s failed promises to Black America. Lennox Armstrong and Kianna Nicholson deliver the perfect classic gospel chorus to match Kiron’s message.
Hip-hop was born on the streets of New York, and in the 80’s and 90’s the City’s artists produced music that will live on for centuries in the great American songbook. Kiron Rasheed’s new album lives and breathes that great tradition. The record is a real joy for any fan of that classic sound. Check it out “Head Start,” below. You can also hear the song “Ba Lee Dat” on the Deep Indie Beat playlist. Follow the links below to connect with Kiron and get in the loop on all of his current and future projects.