As artists below the Mason-Dixon continue to running this rap shit, Rich Boy and his self-titled Interscope debut is out to put Alabama
on the map with the likes of Georgia and Texas. Following the Kanye West blueprint, Rich Boy dropped out of Tuskegee University
to try his hand throwing some D's on this bitch. Of course, "Throw Some D's" is
likely the only reason you're reading this, as his hit single has been burning
the airwaves for months now.
From the outset it is pretty clear we shouldn't be expecting talents along
the lines of a Bun B or even Chamillionaire. What Rich Boy lacks in lyrical and technical
acumen he can make up for with banging production and a likable swagger.
Thankfully for Rich he's got one of Hip
Hop's hottest up and coming producers in Polow
Da Don manning the boards for most of the album. "Boy Looka Here" is a
shining example as Polow unleashes
something nasty that matches Rich's
style perfectly. The chorus may drag it down a bit, but Rich and Polow connect
nicely again on the strip club anthem "Touch That Ass" which again displays Polow's dynamic production and Rich's style. The horribly-titled "Hustla
Ball Gangsta Mack" may feature the same old tired d-boy rhymes, but you're crazy
if you won't have it at full volume in your ride.
Like pretty much every major label album these days, Rich Boy is weighed down by cookie-cutter filler tracks. The
throwaway Lil' Jon track "What It Do"
is cringe-worthy and Rich's mundane
shit talking at women doesn't help matters. What do you know, the very next
song he takes a 180 and writes a "heartfelt" (and I use that term loosely),
pseudo-love song complete with syrupy hook. The LP's shot at a reggae vibe just
doesn't work and "Lost Girls" is prime for skipping.
By the time you hit the trifecta of the Needlz-produced
"Gangsta," Brian Kidd's "Get To
Poppin'" and Outkast producer Mr. DJ's "And I Love You," it becomes
very apparent that the only reason you're listening to this album is for the
production. Rich Boy's book full of
clichés is begging to be shut by this point and the point is further driven
home by Big Boi's ridiculous guest
spot that puts the young 'Bama native's lack of talent into perspective. His
tale of the trap, "Ghetto Rich" is one of the few moments where Rich offers something that a million
other rappers couldn't do in his place. With that in mind, how many other
rappers could have done the exact same thing with Polow's "Let's Get This Paper?" Nevermind - how many could have
done it better?
Rich Boy ends up being a pretty
good album, but it probably should have been titled Polow Da Don as he really deserves the bulk of the credit. The album
may be good, but a cookie-cutter rapper like Rich Boy is going to have less shelf life than his album will. When
the next young rapper comes along with the next hot anthem, he will replace Rich and no one will blink an eye. But
never mind all that for now, if you want an album to bang in the whip, you got