Meet Michael Rashad, the multi-talented artist from Fort Worth keen to elevate the game to CloudNine
As corny as it might sound the journey of a thousand miles does begin with a single step. For Michael Rashad, that single step was off the tour bus and back into dealing with the situations arising in his life outside of music. Michael knew that it was time to put into perspective the relationships around him, understanding who was there to help him for his own sake, and who was there to merely use him to reach their own goals. Stepping back from what was at that point a successful start to his career, Rashad headed back to Dallas-Fort Worth to focus on himself to become not only the artist, but man that he truly desired to be. Although a successful artist, Michael isn’t above checking his DM’s and responding, which is exactly how I got in contact with him when he came up to Milwaukee for The Farm Festival which was being put on by LUM at the beginning of this last August. As cool of a person in person as he is on track, Michael told me to slide through and we got to work, breaking our goals down and talking about where we want to take our respective visions. The free spirit of the weekend combined with the frosted buds in the 99 cent Game Greens helped us to crystallize these conversations. By the way, if someone reading this has access to 99 cent Game Greens, Michael would be appreciative if you hit him and let him know where to find them!
A talented songwriter and performer from the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, Michael Rashad spent the first few years of his career working under the moniker MRW, his initials. It was in 2012 that he initially began to seriously pursue music, grinding out the hours in the studio to figure out who he was as an artist. Rashad had always loved music, one of his favorite artists being Kevin Gates whose influence can be found flitting in and out of Rashad’s discography. The initial push behind Michael Rashad’s music came from Adam Muñiz at New Breed Entertainment. Adam Muñiz’s involvement gave Michael the push he needed to get on tour, a big leap for the kid who never knew if he would be good at music or not. Starting in 2013, Michael Rashad hit the road, opening up show after show for fellow Texas artist Lil Flip who had at that point been on the scene for over a decade. Chasing the dream can often leave one exhausted and weary, especially once the added pressures of fame factor in the mix. Between the strains of the road, and the issues going on back home, Michael soon found himself falling into the cycle of bars and double cups that are so tempting to so many. Knowing that this route would only continue if he didn’t do something about it, he made the incredibly tough decision of leaving the road behind and returning home to set his affairs in order, ultimately leading to a hiatus from music lasting around a year and a half. It was a much needed step back, another situation that Michael took advantage of to the fullest, in order to re-emerge as the current beast he is.
At one point on tour, Lil Flip and Micael Rashad stopped at a gas station in the middle of nowhere Arkansas. Sliding out of the tour van, Flip turned back to Michael and said, “You want to see something cool? And I swear to god, in five minutes that place went from empty to completely packed full,” something that blew Michael Rashad’s mind given the fact that they were in the middle of nowhere yet everyone immediately flocked to see someone who wasn’t even that famous. It was all a learning experience for Rashad, and he took advantage of every opportunity presented over the course of the tours to better understand what it took to successfully move as an independent artist in the game. Being a self-taught individual, Michael Rashad was driven by an inner desire for knowledge from the beginning, from learning how to craft and mix his own songs to marketing a successful independent artist, he pushed forward regardless of the obstacles in his path. Understanding the need for balance in ones life outside of music is an important lesson for anyone stepping into the matrix of artist life, especially given how easy it is to become singularly focused on the music. By understanding how to first love himself for who he was, Michael was able to make the decisions that he needed to for his best life. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, because people all have their own agendas and for the most part are trying to be something other than themselves. Or they are living for goals that aren’t theirs but societies, and end up losing themselves in the process. Part of this process for Rashad involves Michael makes sure to leave time for family though, as he long ago recognized the importance of sharing the love he has with those closest to him and helping them to grow. He takes his role as a father incredibly seriously, even in the background of our conversation I could hear his son, Jaden, trying to get his attention to turn back to play time. As his favorite artist (coincidentally one of mine as well) Kevin Gates once stated, “There’s no award for being real,” but this hasn’t stopped Rashad at all. He spreads the love around to those closest to him, because those are the ones who truly matter at the end of the day.
Above all else, Michael Rashad is an artist. He lives to continue pushing his craft forward, elevating himself in all arenas. This goes for his music as well as his videography which has been consistently getting better with each release. His vision for the future is not contained to the music, as he has feverishly been working on growing Cloudn9ne films alongside DJ Gill, the in-house DJ, photographer, videographer, and COD beast that Michael plucked out of Chicago a couple of years ago in order to help the younger Gill realize his true potential. Between the two of them, they have been actively making strides, dropping video after video, upgrading equipment and skill level seemingly each time. Don’t let the artistry diminish the fact that Michael Rashad is a grinder, working as hard at creating his music as he is at creating new revenue streams for himself and his team. In recent months, Gill and Michael have aggressively been expanding their presence within the videoscape of Dallas-Fort Worth. They began by charging only $100 for video shoots for local artists, in part to help open Gill’s portfolio to artists outside of his hometown contacts in Chicago. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, as Michael plans on taking Cloudn9ne to cloud nine, expanding clientele to anyone interested as evidenced by the yoga class Gill recently shot. Rashad has also created his own clothing line for Cloudn9ne, while also putting the money behind the videos needed to allow the type of growth he and Gill will be seeing in the next few years.
Before the end of 2020 (November 1st to be exact), alongside the continual video shoots, Michael plans on releasing one more album entitled Big Speaker. He undoubtedly has earned the ability to call himself a big speaker, as his words carry weight from his section outwards. Throughout his time in the industry, Michael Rashad has seen the highs and lows up close and personal. He has battled through depression and addiction, salute to the real who work through these problems instead of simply pushing them aside, continuing to strive for the greatness that seems to be destined for him. His ability to consistently show love to those around him separates himself from the competition, and as his network continues to grow, it is only inevitable his personal stock will rise along with it. It is coming without a doubt, and make sure to hop on the ride as Cloudn9ne elevates to the stratosphere, 99 cent Game Greens in pocket!