Any person can make music today. The tools, information and time required to create tunes are now more accessible than ever before, thanks to technology. Passionate music is a little different though; it's stirred by a compulsive urge to connect and communicate with people.
The up-and-coming Washington, D.C. based M.C., RADBOD, also known as Yasmin Aalya Radbod, a former Fulbright scholar, international humanitarian, and passionate activist can attest to this.
"To me, veganism and female empowerment go hand in hand: it's all [about] equality," Radbod said.
The D.C. born, Maryland raised artist believes that “music should move people," but the hip hop goddess’s music does more than move listeners; it makes them move with a wide grin, and a reinvigorated sense of the infamous DGAF attitude associated with hip hop, reminiscent of the first time you heard Missy Elliott, Kendrick Lamar, or Ludacris.
Like Ludacris, Yasmin worked, saving money to pay for studio time, and eventually found herself working with the well-known, local artist and producer, G the Mastermind, in Listen Vision Studios.
"He's one of my closest friends and supporters of my music, he's like an older brother to me," Radbod said. “I try to make my music as authentic and connected as possible."
However, before Radbod returned to D.C. this past July to start working on her EP, (which will be released February 5), she had been teaching english in Nepal, through a Fulbright scholarship, as well as music theory and dance as an extracurricular activity for students.
Radbod helped at a refugee camp in Thailand, but her desire to follow her passion for music continued to burn bright, and she wanted to inspire her students to follow their artistic pursuits like her, despite any cultural pressures, or challenges they encounter.
The pressure to be something one is not is a pressure Radbod has been familiar with her whole life; she’s experienced lifelong rejection from her family because of her different beliefs.
The heart wrenching ballad on Yasmin’s EP titled “Mama” speaks with a harrowing honesty about the tumultuous relationship she shares with her family, and it gives Eminem’s track “Cleaning Out My Closet” a run for its money.
The other songs on the EP are a playful combination of both dark and light humor, showcasing Radbod's ability to sing acapella, as well as establish a lyrical flow with a variety of party-popping beats. As a performer, Radbod commands language in an appealing manner, but maintains her personality with a perfect grace; she’s acutely aware of her audience and her strengths.
“I want my music to leave people wanting to go do something, to take a stance, and inspire people to believe they can change their life,” Radbod said. “Life is generous to me and I feel fortunate, but I don’t ever want to be too serious. The more you go through, the more you just want everyone to be happy.”
Another song on Radbod's debut EP is “$17,” which boasts, “It don’t matter how high your stilettos are, how short your dress is, how big your tits are, be yourself,” and it’s a vivaciously fun, feminist masterpiece, reminding women that they can do whatever they want. The song "White Boy Blast" showcases Yasmin's ability to create captivating music out of a negative experience, an admirable quality and remarkable talent.
Yasmin plans to become an international performer, coordinate dance choreography, and to start her own clothing line that can employ fellow young creative types, hungry to make a difference in the world.