Breaking Hooligans (listen/download)
Say hello to Chicago native R.i.C of Front Row Gang Entertainment. He’s a rapper, producer, and an activist. He describes his music as having a message but still retaining the attractive elements that people have come to love about Hip-Hop. He credits the new wave of social media for helping him get his foot in the door. His desire is to successfully navigate through the world of music while at the same time staying true to who he is as an artist and person. Recently, he released his debut mixtape Breaking Hooligans. Proceed past the break to find out the deal on The Illixer‘s three favorite tracks.
“Sipping” F/ J.I Junior
The production here is tight. It is made up of a refined bass, graceful background elements, and a sleek hood vibe. The hook is good. The delivery is attention grabbing. The lyrics are simple but alluring. The verses are great. R.i.C has his way with the first portion of the song. J.I Junior holds it down on the second. Both rappers provide disparate flows, cunning wordplay, and savvy rhymes. They demonstrate their talents on the mic while at the same time providing a taste of what things are like in the streets of the Chi. A few lines worth repeating are: “You was kicking that s–t. We was throwing that s–t, mad. You was losing it. We was blowing that s–t, bad. You done probably seen my fam on Gangland, yup. Right near the place where they sing amen, yup. (…) See more than what you see. Life’s a tricky facade. You may be gangsters. But we f–king marauders. Protect ya neck. N—a this is Chicago. Our dreams don’t die like we Mr. Rogers.” Apt bars being spit right there. Overall, this song is a smash.
“Ghost” F/ Nicole Eboni
The production here is solid. It entails: a quiet foundation, minute secondary components, and a somber vibe. The hook is fair. The vocals are modest. The lyrics are engaging. The verses are profound. R.i.C dispenses a pristine flow, proper wordplay, and narrative rhymes. He discloses the story of an individual who seems to have reached his shining moment in life only for things to end up not being as they appear. Striking lines include: “They told ’em give me yo s–t. And all he tastes was his blood. Portrait on the stage. Showing his own memorial. Wonder why God had put this in his portfolio. The voice he heard on stage was the one that had robbed him. His own homie read his eulogy. He yelled, stop him!” Powerful tale being recounted via those words. All in all, this was a gripping effort.
The production here is hot. The cool rhythm, healthy knock, mid-tempo pace, and debonair vibe form a captivating combination. The hook is decent but needs a little work. The delivery and lyrics are a bit hard to understand. Switching up the execution or dialing back the beat would make a huge difference. The verses are dope. R.i.C brings a likeable flow and noble rhymes. He imparts his beliefs on everything from police corruption to education. He states: “Packing us in the prisons. Taking us from the children. And when we die, get the children. The cycle is never ending. Our slavery never ended. Just took the chains away. So it don’t matter if the President black or grey. I will never follow wagon with a banner splayed. Cause four years could never take 400 away.” Those lines carry a substantial meaning. In the end, this record is worth putting into rotation.
**My Two Cents: Breaking Hooligans was an up to par offering and debut. R.i.C has a respectable style and way with words. Moving forward as he gains more experience under his belt, I think he is going to become a real force in the Hip-Hop game. Readers should go ahead and give the tape an ear. With 25 tracks something is bound to spark their interest. For those who care to, readers can find R.i.C on Twitter. -MinM