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And on the expanding Hip-Hop menu, it’s Bluegrass infusion: Gangstagrass

Gangstagrass is the Emmy nominated, Billboard charting, gator wrestling, dirty fighting pioneers of the authentic Bluegrass-Hip-Hop sound.


“There are a lot more people out there with Jay-Z and Johnny Cash on their playlists than you think,” says Gangstagrass mastermind Rench. 

He should know. He’s spent some years travelling the country performing for them... and with a groundbreaking band that gave them the best of both worlds.


Many moons ago, upon making beats for local NYC rappers and hosting country music nights in popular NYC venues, Rench had a musical itch that needed to be scratched – he was listening to the 1970s recordings of Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys and couldn’t help imagining what classic Bluegrass would sound like with Outkast and Mos Def spitting rhymes alongside them.

The imaginative result would be a tested and blitzing genre-demolishing new formula dubbed Rench Presents: Gangstagrass. He put it up for free download and people took notice; hundreds of thousands of downloads followed - creating an intense underground buzz.


When FX Network came to Rench looking for the Gangstagrass sound for the theme song to their new series Justified, he had bluegrass players lay down an original track with rapper T.O.N.E-z, the younger brother of early Hip-Hop legends Special K and T-LaRoc.

Thus, the song "Long Hard Times to Come" was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2010, contending for best theme song after critical praise and massive fan response.


Eventually, and since, Rench assembled a focused team of bluegrass pickers and battle tested emcees, and has produced a bunch of full-length albums exploring the many possibilities of this genre fusion.

The 2020 album No Time For Enemies reached No.1 on the Billboard Bluegrass charts (and the first time an album featuring real Hip-Hop MCs had done so).


Gangstagrass has toured internationally, blowing minds on main stages from SXSW to Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, Glastonbury to America’s Got Talent. The live act takes full advantage of the improvisational aspects of both Bluegrass and Hip-Hop.

With MCs R-SON and Dolio the Sleuth trading verses, Dan Whitener on banjo, B.E. Farrow on fiddle, Rench on guitar and beats, and frequent three-part harmonies - the Gangstagrass stage show has garnered a reputation among fans for its dynamism and spontaneity.


This season, the Rench Audio imprint has released 3 singles and videos to match: "The Only Way Out Is Through" featuring Jerry Douglas, "Good at Being Bad", and "Up High Do or Die" featuring Lowdown Brass Band.

And this is leading up to this year's intended Gangstagrass visionary album The Blackest Thing On The Menu.

*VIDEO: Gangstagrass - Good At Being Bad >

*RehaB101 Original New School Webcast > #RehaB101ONSW newsfeed.

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