Gangstagrass takes genre blending to another level
In 2010, FX launched a new television series called Justified. It was a hit, but just as popular was the theme song “Long Hard Times to Come,” with its rap verses overlaying traditional bluegrass. The producer of the track was Rench, who had been creating mashups of local hip-hop emcees with classic bluegrass records for only three years before being approached by FX to write the song.
His efforts were recognized by press and fans alike, garnering him an Emmy Award nomination for best main title theme music. And this Friday, the same Emmy-nominated producer known for his extraordinary genre-blending talent is coming to Nightfall.
Rench’s experimentation began in 2006. At the time, he had already established himself as an in-demand Brooklyn country and hip-hop producer, as well as a solo artist. He began creating his aforementioned mashups and shared a collection titled Rench Presents: Gangstagrass. It took the Internet by storm, seeing an almost instantaneous buzz. Rench’s mashups synched hip-hop beats and emcees with banjos, fiddles, and dorobs, creating a sound unlike anything else on the market that sounded seamless and natural.
The band now has four official LP releases, with their latest, American Music, debuting at number 5 on Billboard Bluegrass chart.
“There are a lot more people out there with Jay-Z and Johnny Cash on their iPod playlists than you think,” says Rench. Whether that describes your music tastes or not, the music of Gangstagrass is an unforgettable experience. If you haven’t heard them yet, Nightfall’s giving you that chance.
Friday, 7 p.m.
Nightfall Concert Series
800 Market St.