His sound: Innovative hip-hop with strong lyricism
For fans of: Playdough, Bodega Brovas, The Difference Machine, The Kid Daytona
For the past seven years, Rashid Qandil has helped put artists on local stages through LOBOTOMIX, a local hip-hop advocacy group. Although he’s seen the hip-hop scene ebb and flow, right now he says Birmingham is experiencing an unseen rise in this kind of music.
Qandil has always preferred outliers. He watches for music on fringes that is not “just catchy bullshit, but…intellectual both in the beat structure and the lyricism.” And for the past seven years, he has helped put those artists on local stages through LOBOTOMIX, a local hip-hop advocacy group. Although he’s seen the hip-hop scene ebb and flow, right now he says Birmingham is experiencing an unseen rise in this kind of music. “I live for those moments—when the first beat drops and the emcee steps up and crushes it,” he says. “My favorite moments are not about celebrity or particular artists. They are about universal moments of truth—when the music and the emcee and the crowd become one.”
Qandil doesn’t cater to trends or requests but rather takes his listeners “on a journey through my personal soundtrack.” “(The music I play) is built on imaginative foundations and is organic but well structured, precise and unpredictable, mathematical and brutal…” he says. “It does what it needs to do simply and elegantly, and it has flair when flair is called for.”
LOBOTOMIX started on Qandil’s birthday in 2009 with DJ and emcee friends taking turns playing music while they hung out at the Speakeasy. The resultingmix got passed around, which led to an event that attracted more than 100 people who came “for the love of hip hop.” Today they continue their monthly showcases, promote local shows, and schedule hip-hop acts for Secret Stages.
“I advocate for hip hop because it is a way that I can do a small part to advocate for my community, draw people together, give people voice, and celebrate the culture of the world I live in—not the world of the elite, but the world of the common people,” Qandil says.
- Hear more local artists in our full Magic City Mix 2016:
- Eugenius Neutron
- The Burning Peppermints
- Anna Thomical of Zenosyne
- Rashid Qandil
- Jason Slatton
- Ashley Sankey and Company
- Creature Camp
- In Snow
- Lee Shook
- Gary Wheat
- Chris Hendrix