"Coach Rise" Album Review by: DJ Nonny Nonn

-11.1.21-
Album Review
Written by: DJ Nonny Nonn
Track 14

For me, the album starts at the end with “My Flowers”...

The year was 2002 when I re-met my youngest brother, Jamal aka Rising Sun, he was 17 and I was 31. At first, I thought Jamal was kinda weird, walking around with a camcorder all the time, recording himself rapping, close ups at the dining room table, on the stairs, full body shots outside; I guess today they call those angles.

 "I use to want them fortune and fame
To floss with all the cars and chains
On TV and the magazines
And be talked about all around the game
At award shows when they calling names
And see margins on all my corporate gains
Them portions that I thought was ours
Now I just want my fucking flowers" 

 

I remember when I first heard Rising Sun’s music, I was not impressed and I was not alone, many of our siblings felt the same way, especially the brothers. At the time I was on the radio in Rochester, NY with my own late-night Hip-Hop show, so my siblings valued my opinion. Rising Sun gave me his latest CD to listen to and possibly play on my show. Our other brothers came to me like “you f**k witdat n***a?” or “you like that?”, having my credibility questioned was not something I took lightly, although I do not remember how I answered that question, I do remember the talk I had with him. It went, somewhere along the lines of “stop saying you’re the best and be the best” since then he has been on GO!!

 

Long story, short, Rise made “My Flowers” for us; all the doubters, his brothers that didn’t carry out their short-lived rapper dreams, all the critics that criticized and DJ’s that didn’t play his shit.  My Flowersis a lyrical litany of reasons why you should hand Rise his flowers while he is here to smell them. The production by Saytbeatz has an electric guitar playing a somber, melodic riff in a range of 70 BPMs, this sets the foundation for Rise’s quasi-funeral of attendees that were haters all along. 

 

Track 1

This is one of my favorite tracks. Here I Go is that, get you ready for the day, shit… get your sleepy ass up in the morning shit and with Jammy Beatz’ on the production, implementing the triumphant trumpets into the intro, sounding like the champion has arrived for battle and the sport is rap, and with Rise Rashid’s new album entitled "Coach Rise", you can imagine it may have a lot of basketball metaphors. 

"I got shooters that put you up on a poster if you too close
Posted up with hands on the handle
Gamble they’ll leave you broke
Reach and you gone be ghost
You don’t want to be standing between me and reaching my goal
You don’t need your chick cheering for me while I’m deep in the hole
Pick a role, give and go, finger the roll
Hard the way me a go
Peaceful but if he foul, then everything free I throw"

 

As Coach Rise stated to me, Rap and Basketball are both a ‘shit talking’ sport and he does just that in Here I Go”. In case you been living under a rock somewhere, Coach Rise, Rise Rashid, Jamal Williams is a High School Basketball Coach for Millbrook Wildcats (19-0) 2020-2021 NCHSAA (North Carolina High School Athletic Association) Champions.

 

 

Track 9

"D’Vices" takes us on a trip, through our day with our favorite vices; phones, social media, games and/or distractions. Rise starts his verse describing his vice as an addiction:

"Caught up in the matrix
Feel like this shit laced with
Cocaine after you bake it
I’m on Facebook debating with some racist trying to make sense
Persuasive with my cases
But why the fuck am I wasting my time
I go to my IG and I see shorty she fine
Look at her story, see when she was born then look up her sign
If we align, I’m a follow back, I should’ve declined
Cause what if mine was doing the same shit,
Shit probably be crying"

 

He talks about his vices honestly, walking us through his phone time, descriptive and insightful with every line. Rise doesn’t preach to us about how bad, pointless and/or invasive social media, our phones, our watches are, he paints a picture of his life and we view the "D’Vices" from his perspective and he allows us to see the similarities in our own lives, our vices.

"D’Vices" has that skillful wordplay and creativity that you want to see in a MC.

 

 

I watched Rise grow from a determined young man with immense drive to be the best rapper to a College Graduate, a husband, a great father and uncle, a high school basketball coach, a mentor for students, a self-taught recording engineer, a marketer of his brand (music and merch). Rise has made music with, opened shows for and rubbed elbows with some of the most respected Hip Hop artist in the game; Beanie Sigel, AZ, Joel Ortiz, Freeway, Nas and Lauryn Hill to name a few. All this in an effort to become a great MC. What I noticed is Rise lives up to his name, RISE!!  Having a goal, a dream, being determined and motivated carried Rise to success.

 

 

With that being said, there is nothing like hearing the affect you’ve had on someone else’s life and "Young Bro" (Track 6) is just that. As I stated earlier Rise mentored students having difficulties in school. Rise invited some of those young men that he mentored to rap with him and 4 Young Bro’s reunited with him on this track. The young men expressed some of the lessons learned and the values Rise helped them develop.  Rise states in the track:

 

"Now I’m that role model that J Cole wrote about
Singing don’t save them but I came through and hold it down
Now they can’t slave them
Cause I came through the underground
For these kids like I’m Harriet, vicariously"
  
  

Rise goes on to respond to the "Young Bro" verses, answering questions and commenting on some things they mentioned. This track validates Rise’s efforts and successes as a coach and a mentor.

 

 

"Coach Rise" has many highlights; it also has the R&B feel, "Hidden Jewels" featuring the extremely talented singer She-Rise and "Grand Rising" featuring an awesome singer out of NYC, Mark Ferg. The "Coach Rise" album also takes us back for a moment with an old-school inspired production using a Stephanie Mills sample on the track "Cause & Effect" (Produced by Starr Nyce). "Coach Rise" also hits us with the club banger "Dancing with a Spanish Jawn" featuring JB Real, where Rise Rashid raps in Spanish as well as his mother's native languages of Cape Verdean Creole and Portuguese.

 

 

I’m telling you, the brother is talented. Listen I don’t want to spoil it for y’all, check it out, "Coach Rise" is out now!!

Peace.


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