Monday, April 30, 2007

Tell Her Make Like the Motherfuckin' Duke Boys and Crawl Thru the Motherfuckin' Window

That cover doesn't really scream "gangsta originator" does it?

415 - "41Fivin"

415 - "Snitches & Bitches"

415 - "Side Show"
41Fivin, 1991

I think it's safe to say that most people don't realize just what a fuckin' OG Richie Rich is. So since I haven't done a Bay post in awhile, I've got a gang of shit to let you know. I got you so many tracks, in fact, that I'm splitting this into two posts, part two tomorrow.

Richie Rich's original group, 415, was some of the first gangsta shit outta the Bay, and really some of the earliest d-boy raps I've heard from anywhere. (See, to those of us from the Bay, crack raps aren't ironic, they're nostalgic.) It ain't Richie Rich, but on "41Fivin" it's plainly stated:
N***a, be down to astound the world,
You won't be shit if you don't pimp the white girl.
Sellin' dope is basically what I'm sayin'
I'm comin' up 'cause motherfuckers keep payin'.
I don't remember too many portrayals of the crack dealer persona before 1991, so understand when I say that 415 were groundbreaking. Really most of the credit goes to Richie, I think. Far as I know the group was his brainchild, and he had that real chill and relaxed flow, which wouldn't become the norm for Cali gangsta rap until the rise of Snoop.

Oh yeah, and Snoop has fully admitted that he ganked that shit from Richie Rich. Ok, ok, my words not his, but still he said "a major influence" or some such. It's nice to see him admit to stealing Bay swagger for once. (Not that I don't love Snoop.)

What's more, "Snitches & Bitches" expounds on some shit that you may have heard a bit about in the news lately. I dunno, they say there's been some bru-ha-ha over the words "bitch" and "ho" and about the phrase "stop..." something or other. Again this song's seventeen years old.

One last 415 gem, Richie went solo on "Side Show" and it is, as far as I know, the first song made to elaborate upon one of the Bay Area's most long-lived and endearing traditions: the sydeshow. Otherwise known as a bunch of fools getting together and doing crazy tricks with their cars... what, you thought ghostriding just popped up outta nowhere? Know your history. (Plus it uses the same sample as a classic Arrested Development song.)

Richie also released a solo record back in that 415 era, Don't Do It, which is fun but not really what I want from him. It's a little too nice and not very West Coast.

But then Richie got locked up and 415 made a new album without him, which I never even bothered to listen to. But what of Richie Rich? Would he manage to get out of prison and successfully come back into a radically changed rap game that he helped shape? Part two tomorrow.

(Oh, and the answer is yes, yes he would. Very, very well.)

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