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Rich Boy - Rich Boy (Interscope)

Rich Boy - Rich Boy

About.com Rating 2.5 Star Rating

By Shannon Barbour

Rich Boy - Rich Boy (Interscope)

Humble Beginnings

Maurice Richards, a.k.a. Rich Boy, wants us to know that his nickname comes from being known around his way as his daddy's boy. Rich's Boy, as he's fondly called, is short for their last name Richards, which honors his relationship with his dad more than a penchant for gettin' paper.

Nonetheless, he's determined to stack his chips in the high-stakes rap game while putting his native Mobile, Alabama on the map. Rich's street tales on his self-titled debut are largely lived vicariously. His father owned a liquor store in the hood that gave him a bird's -eye view of the life of dope dealers, but afforded him the opportunity to attend college. After honing his mike talents, he decided to drop out of Tuskegee University where he majored in mechanical engineering.

The Cash-in

Fast-forward 2006, his inescapable radio hit, club banger and strip club staple, "Throw Some D's," has helped him make a name for himself on the still Southern-dominated, though slowly becoming oversaturated, scene. How can you forget a line like: "And that's all/ every freak should have a picture of my d**k on they walls." At his wildest, Rich displays exercises in pimpish hyperbole that could really only evoke laughter from the freakiest of groupies. "Throw Some D's," though the most cleanly produced, is representative of much of his album's material: simple, single-entendre lyrics that make the dope boys go crazy. You could call it just another paean to hip-hop's slow-to-die materialistic cliches, but at best, new dubs on a Cadillac are for ballers with only modest aspirations and moderate cash.

New Guy, Same Style

Stylistically, Rich Boy's flow is indistinguishable from any of his regional peers - be they from Alabama, Mississippi, or Georgia. The production from heavy hitters like Manny Fresh, Polow da Don and David Banner is his saving grace. Tracks like "The Madness" completely get lost in the shuffle. With it's typical staccato beat that sounds like it was made from a template and Rich's characterless tone, it seems to say, "insert any rapper with a Southern accent here." A real standout on this album, however, is the David Banner-assisted "Role Models," with it's funk-heavy beat and bassline reminiscent of Stankonia-era OutKast production. Here, Rich and partners-in-rhyme, David Banner and Attitude clearly state that they are not examples for the youngsters. The chant, "we ain't role models/we ain't role models" will stick in your mind all day.

The Bottom Line on Rich Boy

Despite his shortcomings, Rich has come with a fair first effort. Hopefully, he'll stick to tight producers and switch up his flow so he can stick around for awhile. Note to Rich Boy: save for a rainy day.

Top Tracks from Rich Boy
  • "Role Models"
  • "Ghetto Rich"
  • "Let's Get This Paper"
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