Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Busta Phree... (Richie Rich Part 2)

Richie Rich - "Half Thang"

Richie Rich - "Busta Phree"
Half Thang, 1996

Richie Rich - "It's On" featuring E-40

Richie Rich - "Check 'Em"

Richie Rich - "Do G's Get To Go To Heaven?"
Seasoned Veteran, 1996

When we last left our hero he was in lock-up and his old crew 415 had gone on without him... today we pick up with his release in the mid 90's.

Richie Rich came back real hard in '96, with Half Thang, which was followed almost immediately by Seasoned Veteran. Any fears that he wouldn't be able to fit in with the changes that had come to the game in those intervening years were put to rest pretty much immediately. I'd say he sounded even more comfortable over mid 90's style g-funk beats than over the old 415 shit.

On Half Thang's title track he explains what got him sent to prison in the first place. Then on "Busta Phree" he goes on to take a shot at his former 415 crewmates. Damn, I could listen to that voice over slow-rolling funk for hours--what else needs saying?

Seasoned Veteran is probably Richie's best, it's got the big guest shots (2Pac, E-40), pitch-perfect production for Double-R, and loads of charisma. This record sounds like 90's Oakland, straight up. "It's On" and "Check 'Em" are just two of the best examples of what I'm talking about; Rich's cold menace is in full effect. "Do G's Get To Go To Heaven?" might get a bit corny, but at the same time I find the whole part about seeing a man die incredibly poignant. Rap gangstas are usually the ones killing, it's interesting to see the bystander's take.

So there you have the incredible influence of a Bay legend summed up in a rather large nutshell. Richie Rich is a man who goes under appreciated most of the time, so hopefully this will get at least one person to take notice of him. And I mean damn, look at the number of songs you got, don't say I never did nothin' for you.


Peter said...

Seriously, I've been wondering about this song and this question. 11 years, whats good?

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