“A group of undergrads in St. Pete College’s MIRA (Music Industry/Recording Arts) program — which is dedicated to developing “real world” skills for its student musicians — take an elective music course that eventually transforms them into a bona-fide hip hop group. Most of the Real Clash members had already established working relationships before they were approached to join the ensemble co-founded by frontman/lyricist Rashad “Shadcore” Harrell and fellow MIRA producer/lyricist Jay “Jay Acolyte” Wilson. The name, originally The Real Clash of the Titans (for the SPC mascot), mostly represents a clash of styles. This includes diving into other genres — funk, reggae, Latin, rock, R&B — to get to the Real Clash’s eclectic sound. ‘This is hip-hop redefined.’ Lyrics are thought-provoking and intelligent but not always serious; trademark set-closing track “Effigy” comments on hip-hop clichés, posturing, and staying true to yourself no matter what your background. The chorus — “This what hip-hop looks like, thought it was all thugged out like Suge Knight? All I need is a beat and a good mic, putting stereotypes to bed like, ‘Good Night!’ — seems to sum it up perfectly.
The group is diverse in background and age, but that diversity — and their easygoing camaraderie — helps them complement each other’s strengths. Rashad takes command of the crowd as soon as he steps to the stage, all bluster and punchlines, while Jay brings the more deliberate flowing, laid-back creeper attack. Eliana Blanchard is the soaring vocal anchor and hype gal in their midst, not to mention an eye-catching stunner with flowing hair and a 100-watt smile. Jordan adds sonic layering, texturing and grooves, while Travis Young handles drumming and percussive duties, also a beat-boxing whiz. Bassist Taylor Gilchrist covers the low-end frequencies, DJ Rollin Covell complements the rhythm section with digi turntable scratches, sound effects, and audio samples, and Roden adds rocking guitar riffs and searing solos. T” – Leilani Polk , CLTampa)