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Coming out of Mobile, Alabama, the rapper Rich Boy released his self-entitled debut album in 2007 with the support of the then-new Hip Hop producer heavyweight, Polow Da Don. The rapper performs a style of Pop Rap which fuses the main elements of the Dirty South sub-genre with the type of Pop Rap lyrics which made the likes of Nelly, Chingy and Flo Rida what they are.
1. "The Madness"
To get things going on this album you have it starting off with beats made by the rapper himself, showing that there's a little more to him that just the flows. It is something dark, and it has him show how people rap down in AL (as he one of very few from this state to make it in the rap game). He just lets you know what he's about here, but it's nothing special.
2. "Role Models"
To show that there is some more support form fellow country raps, you find that Mississippi's David Banner gets on his stuff, and you also get fellow Alabaman, Attitude doing his thing on top of this. It is a big tune and has them on top of some beats which perfectly fitted in with what the Hip Hop club scene was about back in 2006/2007.
3. "Boy Looka Here"
Moving further into it, you here the kind of thing that Polow Da Don gave to the likes of Keisha Cole, Ciara and Fergie coming through in the beats here, and with these similarities you have to take into account that it is quite obviously constructed to get mainstream attention, and having this intent is something I dislike about it. And to be honest I didn't think it was that effective at this.
4. "Throw Some D's"
Sampled later for Soulja Boy's debut album, this was the lead single from the artist and the one which launched his career. It is a big tune, and was a a club banger back in 2006 when it dropped and found him rapping about his brand new car, and what he needs to to do to modify it and make it just that little bit better than anyone else's.
5. "What It Do"
Lil' Jon takes over on the production and so gits things a Crunk twist, and in order to support the fact that he had taken control he took it upon himself to recruit some hot Atlanta names to join him with Cutty and Sean Paul of the YoungBloodZ with him as they go on the hard 808 bass thumps. It is a big tune and bound to get you on your feet.
6. "Good Things"
The beats which begin this track are very much unlike what you expect to here from Polow Da Don, but he quickly changes things to his very straight-forward bas-led work, and he gets his right-hand woman, Keri Hilson to give her excellent R&B vocals to this track as you have the tempo lowered and have Rich boy rap towards the girls. Polow even gets a chance to rap here, and does things well.
7. "Hustla Balla Gangsta Mack"
You have a Polow Da Don-esque feel to the beats on this one as the unknown name of Brian Kidd does the beats here and attempts to give him the same sort of booming atmosphere to drive this one. It has him doing some work here where you can't help but feel is heavily pushed by the Hip Pop things of top names in this kind of thing, but its not all that bad (aside from the annoying hook).
8. Touch That Ass"
Following a short word from Snoop Dogg, you have Rich Boy in a club setting as he does a tune which took inspiration from the type of thing which David Banner and the Ying Yang Twins did at one point in "Play and "Wait" respectively, however this was done quite a while prior to this, and this trends of whisper rap never really caught on, and it makes him come across as someone attempting to capitalise on top of other's trends.
9. "On The Regular"
The screwed vocals which start this one indicate that it is Polow Da Don behind this one too, and with it you have him going for something a bit different as he drops some beats which sound quite bright and open, these don't really support what you expect to here from him. I couldn't really get into this though as the raps reminded me too much of Nelly's work, and too much time was spent building up the hook.
10. "Gangsta" (Lude)
11. "Get To Poppin'"
We have this one taking inspiration from alternative sources in this one and so it sounds very different to the type of thing that you find in any kind of rap track, especially from the Dirty South. It didn't really work for me, and although it was memorable, it wasn't really making much sense to me as it was so confused.
12. "And I L:ove You"
With beats from long-time OutKast producer, Mr. DJ, this one has Rich Boy collaborating with two legends in Atlanta rap as Pastor Troy and Big Boi. It appears that with the influence of these MCs, it has forced him to go for much darker rap which the real southern rap fans can get into, but I would have said that he did anything particularly special.
13. "Lost Girls"
You have Konvict Muzik's Roc City giving this one some Caribbean flavour as together they show how to merge the style of this region with Hip Hop, however I didn't really think it was all that successful and so I felt that this experiment was a bit of a flop. It was a good attempt from them, but again it didn't really make all that much sense.
14. "Ghetto Rich"
The Soul singer John Legend sings with him on this track, an inevitable one for a Pop rapper on the rise as he does one where he attempts to portray is 'struggle' as one of the typical clichéd rapper's grind. When Nelly, Flo Rida and Murphy Lee all did this, it annoyed me by how predictable and fake it was, and nothing changed here.
15. "Let's Get This Paper"
To end it here you have a tune which was designed to make an impact as it was another of the singles from the LP and finds Polow Da Don and Rich Boy working together to do a track which has them speaking on how the strive to just get money, and really there isn't anything else out there that they need to be doing. It is again an obvious choice in a subject for a rap tune, but I felt that it was a lot better than the one prior to it.
This was an inconsistent debut from Rich Boy, and I have to say that this was no surprise to me as from just his breakthrough single alone I knew that his potential was going to be limited, and this came though here where he only really delivered when backed with well-constructed music.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Madness - Rich Boy
2 Role Models - Attitude, David Banner, Rich Boy
3 Boy Looka Here - Rich Boy
4 Throw Some d's - Polow da Don, Rich Boy
5 What It Do - Cutty, Rich Boy
6 Good Things - Keri, Polow da Don, Rich Boy
7 Hustla Balla Gangsta Mack - Rich Boy
8 Touch That A** - Rich Boy
9 On the Regular - Rich Boy
10 Gangsta (Interlude) - Rich Boy, Mark Twain
11 Get to Poppin - Rich Boy
12 And I Love You - Big Boi, Pastor Troy, Rich Boy
13 Lost Girls - Keri, Rich Boy, , Rock City
14 Ghetto Rich - John Legend, Rich Boy
15 Let's Get This Paper - Rich Boy
16 Throw Some d's [Remix] - André 3000, , The Game, , Jim Jones, Murphy Lee, , Nelly, Rich Boy