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Rahbi

Yes Sir Productions Presents Rahbi: The E.P.

(Yes Sir Productions; US: 7 Mar 2006; UK: Unavailable)

Atlanta is one of the healthier epicenters of music these days, especially for R&B and hip-hop. From the same city that spawned Akon, T.I., India.Arie, Donnie, and Janelle Monáe, comes Rahbi, an artist who’s fast carving out a niche for himself in an increasingly crowded musical space. On Rahbi: The EP, the artist queries, “Don’t give a damn/if that’s your man, your girl, or your lover/Ain’t we all sistas and brothas?” It’s less a question and more a declaration. Equipped with a voice that, at times, straddles androgyny, Rahbi isn’t singing about anything you haven’t heard before, whether it’s social justice or bedroom whispers; how he sings is the attraction here. The middle section of “Should’ve Been Yo Man”, for example, features a blazing falsetto—the stuff of his explosive concert appearances. His effortless ability to emote and write songs indicates that this E.P. is only the beginning for Rahbi. Keep your eyes and ears on this guy…

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Christian John Wikane is a NYC-based journalist and music essayist. He's a Contributing Editor for PopMatters, where he's interviewed artists ranging from Paul McCartney to Janelle Monae. For the past three years, he's penned liner notes for more than 100 CD re-issues by legends of R&B, rock, pop, dance, and jazz. Since 2008, he's produced and hosted Three of Hearts: A Benefit for The Family Center at Joe's Pub. He is the author of the five-part oral history Casablanca Records: Play It Again (PopMatters, 2009). Follow him on Twitter @CJWikaneNYC. 


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