Taz Arnold has always been, for many, a mystery. As a part of the highly influential though unsung trio Sa-Ra Creative Partners, many wondered where Taz fit. While Shafiq Husayn was the master drum and sound programmer and Om’mas Keith was the musical prodigy who could play most any instrument, Taz was rumored to be the image, the personification of the futuristic funk and other-worldly style that oozed from the trio’s productions.
Now that the trio is no longer functioning as such, each member has been involved with their particular efforts, though often still collaborating in an informal manner. Taz has most notably been a part of the fashion world with his TISA streetwear brand. His musical output has been sporadic, until now. He recently released “rAd AmericA,” a project that shows just how far out in space his musical palette can be.
The project almost sounds like a mixtape; you can play it straight through without noticeable stops and gaps between tracks. It reminds me of early 80s mixtapes that combined selections from different genres, both popular and obscure, often mixed with sound bites and dialogue.
This isn’t for the faint of heart. There is a lot going on at all times and the meek may easily be overwhelmed. Take a listen to “cAliforniA $uite,” a track we’ve chosen to stream, and see how Taz combines classic rock samples with Clipse acapella loops and Diddy-like adlibs. Truly futuristic.