There are certain things rap doesn't need anymore of. Thugs, drug dealers, playas, and pimps are a few of those MC positions that have all been filled--to the brim. Applicants need not apply. Please. What rap truly does need isn't so much a style, specific sound or type of rapper, it's simply a breath of fresh air. That refreshing breeze seems to be sourced in Detroit and headed your way. Its make-up consists of a few elements. The first is its nucleus, Ric-A-Che (pronounced Ricochet), the new Motor City rap artist, brought to you by Steve Rifkind's new label Street Records Corporation (SRC). The second is Ric-A-Che's new single "Coo-Coo Che," a growing radio favorite and catalyst for the inevitable success of his debut album, Lack Of Communication, the final ingredient in this aerial blessing. Ric-A-Che, his buzzing single and approaching album seems to be that resuscitation the rap game is currently yearning for.
"Rap music has a black eye on it now," drops Rick Dennis AKA Ric-A-Che. "Because of gangsta music and the fact that artists are like walking targets [for] trouble. You gotta think about these kids and a lot of artists don't. When they make music they make it for grown folks but not just grown folks buy our music. 75% of the consumers are kids so you have to be able to teach them." And Ric-A-Che's lessons will be heard--by everyone. Reason being, "Coo-Coo Che," a sunny-side up ode to the beauty of women. Produced by the album's executive producer, Knobody, and seasoned with Ric-A-Che's lighthearted humor and muscular delivery, the ditty is pillared by a hook (courtesy of SRC vocalist Darija) that's as addictive as your biggest vice. It's a treat for all. "I get a nice response from older people more than anybody else," says a surprised Ric-A-Che. "When you even mention that this is a rap CD, a lot of older people slide away from it because they automatically think it's your ordinary, regular hip-hop joint, you know, killing this, that and the other. I'm trying to get away from that."
What makes Ric-A-Che so nutritious for rap is that he's not to be viewed by hip-hop's younger generation as another preaching adult who doesn't understand where they're walking. He's been there, doesn't want to go back or see any of our future adults wander there. While already a member of a few local gangs, Ric-A-Che dropped out of the 11th grade to sell drugs full time. After losing eleven of his thirteen friends to jail or murder (many of which died in front of him, while Ric-A-Che always escaped without so much as a bullet graze. Hence, his friends nicked him Ric-A-Che) and luckily beating a few court cases himself, Ric-A-Che needed an escape from the streets' stranglehold. One freedom route for Ric-A-Che was his favorite past-time since age 11, rapping. Even though Ric-A-Che frequented Detroit's famous showcase spot for local talent, The Hip-Hop Shop, along with other Motown notables such as Eminem and Royce Da 5'9, he could never devote himself to becoming a professional MC. He was too busy working every straight job he could find, whether it was a flower shop delivery guy or chemical plant worker, to provide for his son and daughter.
It wasn't until 2002 that Ric-A-Che began to take advantage of his rhyme potential. He made enough noise to grab the attention of former Loud Records head Steve Rifkind, who inked the prospect in early '03. The result is a single that's burning the country's airwaves and an album (its title Lack Of Communication stems from Ric-A-Che owning not a cell phone or 2way during the eight days it took him to create his LP) that ignores the boundaries of age, gender and standard rap music. While the children and their grandparents can enjoy "Coo-Coo Che," there's enough to go around for everyone.
For those with a fetish for darker content, there's "So Cold," which speaks on the allure of the drug game. For the music lover in you, Ric-A-Che expresses his artistic right to harmonize on "Cocaine Dreams" and since a rap album just isn't complete without some floss braggin', the bouncy "Thang Thangs" is provided. All and all, with his debut, Ric-A-Che accomplishes what too many rappers fail at being, an artist with his own identity. "When I'm gone I want to be able to leave a mark on music - 'this guy came in, did some incredible stuff and left,'" he states. "So I'm not trying to change music I'm just trying to stand out like a sore thumb." And like an ocean breeze that swims through a hot city, it'll feel so good. It'll feel so right.