PORNO FOR PYROS

RAS riders on the storm john lennon tiger lily

Get 'Em High: RAS

According to their bio, RAS has a helluva mission on their shoulders: to fight against whatever mainstream media and culture offers the masses today ¦uplift and create spaces where atrocities against people of the African diaspora can begin to heal ¦ through remembering the past, exposing lies, expressing emotion and resisting self-hatred. Not a job for the faint at heart. Luckily, the husband and wife hip-hop team has a whole lotta heart, and some mighty voices to back it up.

Winners of the 2008 Lennon Songwriting Award for hip-hop, RAS (Riders Against the Storm) is comprised of Rhode Island MCs Tiger Lily and JBro. Together, the duo vacillates between confessions of self-consciousness and chest-thumping demonstrations of verbal prowess. In Never Alone, JBro likens himself to Bobby Brown, stressing every little step, against a throbbing bass line and fluttering keys. Though lyrically anxious, the melody is self-assured. But its songs like Ready or Not that really show RAS at the peak of their potency. A remake of the Fugees hit, the track brings the drama with sweeping strings, reiterating percussion and the electronic hiss of synths as Tiger Lily and JBro chant, RAS is right on target / First in the flame with the power to spark it. It’s an explosive mantra for a duo that’s determined to burn down the house.