Full throttle with RaskE, Flint’s “blue-collar grunge-hop” artist

FLINT, Mich. — It’s been a few minutes since RaskE “the rising blue-collar artist of grunge-hop,” his manager, Mitchell Shelton, and I scatter in three separate directions to use the restroom in response to drinking. alcohol of nine out of twelve people. cans of Budweiser beer. At the end of our nearly two-hour conversation, we talked about RaskE’s Italian-American roots, his passion for fixing cars, and his undeniable talent for music. He is one of a handful of white hip-hop and rock artists in Flint who not only managed to make a name for themselves within a predominantly African-American community and industry, but, as Shemi, is embraced by it. He’s not trying to be something he’s not, to emulate those who came before him, or to disrespect and dilute the culture of rap music. Instead, he forges new paths and experiments with sounds that enhance his nasal accent and “take advantage of my surroundings, which was the garage, drinking beer and telling jokes”.

“The RaskE blue-collar worker is not afraid to get dirty and is ready to solve a problem no matter how messy, dirty or filthy. What he wants to do is clean it up, perfect it and fix it for you,” RaskE said, raising her hands accompanied by a cheerful smile. “At the end of the day, I want to see people happy. I want to give you the energy, the love, the kindness, the understanding that I’d give to anyone else. So give me a hug, let me tell you a joke or two, and if you need to work on your car, let me know and come on Sunday.
“I am here to create your joyful moment, so that it is the most joyful light that you deserve.”
RaskE, born and raised in Flint, specializes in rap, hip-hop, rock and pop music, and it’s the vehicle that takes him through the interconnected musical pathways. This ability to weave in and out of genres allows his music to develop as it has and is evident on the soon to be released album, he, Shelton and producer Selah Zeus design. But very little of RaskE’s life is packaged and well-produced the way his music does, blaring from the loudspeakers. Instead, it looks a lot like what it appears: slightly dirty with oil and grease stains covering its face, hands and uniform after a hard day’s work at Shelton Automotive on University Ave, where we are. The time he spent getting to know and falling in love with each vehicle’s interior simultaneously enhanced his ability to manage and manage his emotions and his life. It’s a life he says is like the cars he works on every day.

“It’s all about me and the cars. I could say that I am an automotive doctor. This car has a turn signal problem. I checked the fuse and everything, but right now what I’m dealing with is internal, and that’s what people have to realize: the battle is internal,” RaskE says with a smile. “You’re not yourself if you don’t deal with the problem. You are not going to be who you are fully capable of being if you are not able to take responsibility or handle a situation that might upset you.
Very little of RaskE’s life is packaged and well produced in the way of his music, blaring from the loudspeakers.Growing up, and especially in high school, RaskE was bullied and became an outcast. “I loved doing my job and wanted to be the best I could be,” he says. But that was before his grandfather, a Marine, shot himself in the head, leaving RaskE without his greatest confidant. Her death devastated RaskE, making him feel “like I’ve lost a big part of myself” and filling his mind with anguish and anger. Trying to cope and heal, he stayed alone and turned to music to find release. He bought a microphone, a guitar, downloaded Audacity and started recording music. Yet the weight of her grandfather’s passing and the trauma of being bullied hit hard each fall season. RaskE turned to drugs and loathing in self-doubt before checking himself into a mental institution for two months and then into rehab. Without much communication with the outside world and missing “my birthday, the 4th of July” and a “Kid Cudi concert when he had the pursuit of happiness”, RaskE took to writing music to release and vent his frustrations. .

“Rehab gave me the ability to write. I made my father put [my playlist] on a CD, and I listened to the same CD every day. Then I met this kid who gave me his Breaking Benjamin Dear Agony album,” says RaskE. “That music in there helped me write better and helped me get into the mindset to be happy and be me.”

This music led him to Infinity Studios on Clio Road, where he met a young As Gabbana among other notable Flint artists and producers. But through conversations with his cousin-turned-manager, Shelton – living in Colorado at the time – that’s when “we start moving”. Shelton found a home and moved to Michigan, turning the hosted guest house into a studio, and “we just started acting, the inspiration came back, and it was amazing.” Since then, he has been recording music with Gabbana, Jeff Skigh and maintains close ties with the AutoWorld collective. But music is what saved his life, got him out of rehab, and got him to where he is now.

“I wish I could say I’m doing it for everyone, but selfishly, I’m doing it for myself, so I’m not dying. I know, corny as it is, music saved my life. is my ventilation mechanism,” RaskE said in a dark voice. “The only thing I can give you is some ability to understand what I’m going through to hopefully help you.”
But through conversations with his cousin-turned-manager, Shelton – living in Colorado at the time – that’s when “we just started acting, the inspiration came back, and it was amazing”.Though it’s not just the music that soothes his soul and tempers the inner light he tells me inside the garage at Shelton Tire and Service, where tires, tools, machinery and vehicles are stored above us . He enjoys working his blue collar job, serving the community he calls home and the people he calls friends and family. That’s why, after the last round of beers, Shelton and I call RaskE an incredibly witty man – a title he denies. Instead, he refers to himself as “continuity,” understanding “the need to connect the things that make me feel some type of path.” Whatever the title, whether artist, musician or mechanic, RaskE, through music and car repair, understood one of life’s greatest lessons: joy.

“I reach my end goal, which is to make people happy, to help you with your car or to make you understand my music, to dance and to go on stage with me”, explains RaskE. “I am here to create your joyful moment, so that it is the most joyful light that you deserve.”

You can find RaskE on Facebook, instagram, Twitter, and Youtube. To know more about RaskE, you can visit his website, Ovrall Music Group, LLCor his manager Mitchell Shelton instagram.

Elizabeth J. Harless