Race Card is a four-piece band out of Southern California, delivering a unique concoction of genre-pushing Hip Hop and Rock music. Drawing influence from each member’s diverse musical backgrounds, their inspiration runs the gamut from Public Enemy, to Living Colour, Rage Against The Machine, Deftones and The Dave Matthews Band – an eclectic mix that significantly contributes to their unique sound and vibe. The band was conceived in 2004 by rapper Tahir Jahi and guitarist-singer Damian Hagger, evolving out of their respective solo projects. Blending riff-oriented Rock and Pop hooks with intense Hip Hop/Rap lyrics and subject matter, the result is unlike anything currently in play today. Tahir is a powerful storyteller who is not shy to approach any subject with his poignant and authentic point of view, defining Race Card’s message as heavy on political and social commentary, and light on superficial BS. They love being in the studio, but it’s their live shows that define them. In an industry overflowing with Auto-Tune, backing tracks and turntables, they are on a mission to bring true artistry back into live performance, and are about as far away as you can get from being hipsters or ‘establishment’ – and proud of it.
Currently calling Long Beach their home, the lineup features Tahir Jahi on lead vocals and raps, Damian Hagger on guitar and backing vocals, Trevor Erickson on drums, percussion and backing vocals and A.J. Tucci on bass and backing vocals. Tahir and Damian met while working at music-tech company MP3.com, and started Race Card after sharing demos. Damian and Trevor met through living in the same apartment complex in Long Beach. A.J. answered a Craigslist ad when the band was searching for a bass player, and as fate would have it, he was the only person that answered the ad! Damian is a native of the UK, who has subsequently lived in South Africa and therefore likes to consider himself to be the ‘other’ African-American in the band. Tahir hails from Pittsburgh, Trevor is from Long Beach, and A.J. is originally from Boston, having relocated to Los Angeles to attend the renowned Musicians Institute in Hollywood. They have been writing and playing together for the better part of a decade, and have two full-length albums to their credit, with several new singles slated for release over the course of 2015. Pop star Shanice has leant her voice to two of their singles, “Wake Up” and “Alright”, and they have received high praise from Paradise the Architect of the iconic Brooklyn Hip Hop group X Clan. Currently, they broadcast their rehearsals live on Meerkat and Periscope, for the world to tune in and watch, if they can’t catch a local show.
When they aren’t on their way to the next gig or making new music, Race Card likes to keep themselves pretty busy. Damian and Tahir each founded and manage social networks for their respective instruments: Damian’s is SixString: The Social Network for Guitarists (SixString.com), and Tahir’s is Rapify: The Social Network for Rap and Hip Hop (Rapify.net). Tahir is also on the reality show “Flex and Shanice” on the OWN Network. A.J. works at Atlantic Studios, and Trevor is an active MMA fighter and holds a blue belt in jiu-jitsu. He recently won his fight in the MMA Summer Slam, and fights for the Sub-Fighter MMA club.