GANGSTAGRASS Announce New Album, Sophomore Single Out Today

Article Contributed by Milestone Publicity | Published on Friday, March 1, 2024

Gangstagrass — trailblazers in a distinct musical genre of their own design — announce that their new 10-track album, The Blackest Thing on the Menu, will be released on Friday, June 14. The Blackest Thing on the Menu marks the band’s seventh full-length album, and embodies the zest and flavor that Gangstagrass infuses into the realms of bluegrass and hip-hop as they delve into the foundational elements of each genre.

The conception of the album’s title came about last year while the band was eating dinner at a “blues-themed restaurant in my hometown,” MC and vocalist Dolio the Sleuth explains. “There was a Juneteenth-themed menu that had a bunch of ‘blackened’ spicy items. One of us asked the server for ‘the blackest thing on the menu,’ and it turned out to be blackened shrimp and cheese grits… which, of course, we all ordered.”

Brought up again while on the road a few months later, “That ‘eureka’ look struck over all of our faces, the rain stopped, and I kid you not, TWO rainbows appeared in the sky,” Dolio continues. “We then had no choice but to acknowledge that the heavens were blessing the moment that the title appeared.”

As time passed, the title acquired an entirely new significance, “especially at this moment of conversation about race and country music, after we have played so many bluegrass and folk festivals where the Black influence on country music was not represented except by us,” Rench details. “We were trying to find an album title for a while, to the point where we were really throwing in all kinds of funny ideas, and this one seemed funny for being so brash at first, we were in the tour van laughing. But then we stopped laughing and it sunk in how appropriate it is.”

Dolio concludes, “We recognized that when we’re at festivals we are indeed the spiciest thing on the menu, the one with the most intense flavor. This album is bringing the heat, the spice, the flavor and the down-home cookin’ all in one.”

In addition to this announcement, they released TODAY the album’s sophomore single and its official music video, “Good at Being Bad”. Co-produced by the GRAMMY-Award winning Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell and recorded at the legendary Royal Studios in Memphis, TN, the track, with masterful mandolin playing, dynamic production, and energetic vocals, seamlessly blends funk with Gangstagrass’s distinctive fusion of bluegrass and hip-hop. Stream “Good at Being Bad” HERE.

“Working with Gangstagras was awesome,” Boo Mitchell details. “I had been hip to them for a few years and was really diggin’ what they were doing. Mixing bluegrass with hip hop! Quite out of the box thinking. A lot of worlds coming together. I have always been a fan of bluegrass and have worked on a few records. When we got in the studio I thought the band was exceptionally talented. Also, I was a rapper myself in the late 80’s and early 90’s, so this scratched my classic hip hop itch with a new school twist. So, to record these amazing lyricists with a live smackin’ band… what more could you ask for!!”

R-SON the Voice of Reason (MC) reminisces on the experience of creating this song, beaming, “If you’d told me I’d EVER make a record like this I’d have said you were crazy. But the magic of the Gangstagrass squad mixed into the funk cauldron that is Royal Studios, overseen by the Wizard Boo Mitchell, helped cook up some soul sorcery the likes of which the world has never seen!”

“I wanted us to take on the challenge of writing a fully funky hookup song that was centered on things like consent, enthusiasm, communication, and care,” Rench shares.

The music video —  exclusively revealed on the group’s Kickstarter page — showcases the performers in a classic “sexy music video” setup: Dolio the Sleuth lounging on velvet sofas and pink fur chairs, R-SON the Voice of Reason supporting him on a backlit stage, and featured fiddler/vocalist B.E. Farrow in a claw-foot tub.

With 5 days left, the campaign is the #1 most funded music project currently live on Kickstarter, having exceeded its initial funding goal in its first week. The project page offers various support options, from putting a gallon of gas in the tour van to enjoying a private performance. The most popular choice is treating the crew to a milkshake — an indulgence they notoriously love so much that fans have even delivered coffee milkshakes to them on stage. As Rench explains, “Each pledge brings us one step closer to making this amazing new album! Every bit helps bring this message of unity and dope music to the world.”


“The Only Way Out Is Through”

“Good at Being Bad”

“Obligatory Braggadocio”

“Up High Do or Die”


“Gone Gone”

“Avenue Boy”


“It’s Alive”


On February 2, the lead single from the album made its debut on Bluegrass Today. Titled “The Only Way Out Is Through,” the track features Jerry Douglas, a 15-time GRAMMY winner and three-time CMA “Musician of the Year” recipient. The accompanying music video, directed by TOUGH DUMPLIN & MZ.ICAR and polished with post-production by Someplace Called Brooklyn, had its exclusive premiere via The Bluegrass Situation. Listen to “The Only Way Out Is Through” here.

Watch “The Only Way Out Is Through” official music video below:

Gangstagrass has been praised in a wide variety of leading outlets including The New York Times, Forbes, Rolling Stone, NPR, Vice, HipHopDx, and The Wall Street Journal, as well as a national broadcast feature on PBS. With more than a decade of shattering barriers and global touring, this rebellious collective has achieved unparalleled success in crafting an innovative sound rooted in historically significant heritage.

Above all, Gangstagrass emphasizes the value of education, frequently conducting workshops for K-12, college students, and adults of diverse backgrounds. Whether through engaging Q&A sessions, historical lessons, or spontaneous music tutorials, the group staunchly advocates for imparting well-rounded knowledge to everyone.

As part of a busy festival season this summer, Gangstagrass will take center stage as Friday’s headliner at the Philadelphia Folk Festival (August 16 - August 18), and will be leading a workshop spotlighting the Jim Crow-era origins of American music genres.