Directed by: Mark Valino
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Once in a while, a talent comes along who isn’t bound by conventional wisdom. He doesn’t follow the rules. He’s a mad musical genius with the vision of creating a monster. Critically acclaimed producer, MC, song-writer, director; Rich Kidd is that talent. The Toronto native is everywhere. Covering magazines like NOW & HipHopCanada, winning Stylus & Toronto Independent Music Awards, touring Australia & Canada, producing music for everyone from Drake to Busta Rhymes to Nelly Furtado and releasing one of his country’s farthest reaching mixtape series (We On Some Rich Kidd Shit 1,2,3,4 & 5), Rich Kidd’s spent the last five years making wave after wave. It’s his 360 degree musical vision that allows him such well-rounded success, but it’s brutally honest charisma, infectious production and fierce lyricism that garner such a passionate, diverse following all over the world.
Rich Kidd first got heads knocking at 16 years old when he took his sound from Ridgeway housing projects to Detroit, producing Frank and Dank’s “Get Right Song,” to rave reviews. While he first made a name for himself as a producer, Rich Kidd’s voice garnered more attention with the release of We On Some Rich Kidd Shit Volume 1 in 2007. This grew to an compilation series which was released annually every July, leading into 2011. We On Some Rich Kidd Shit Volume 1-5 would go on to feature nearly 100 artists as well as provide an ever growing platform for Rich Kidd as a solo artist himself.
Rich Kidd emerged in 2009 as a commercially viable producer when the legendary Busta Rhymes used his production for a mixtape cut featuring M.O.P.’s Billy Daze called “Undescribable.” That same year, Juno nominated K-os wrote one of his career’s biggest hits over a Rich Kidd production sampling Phantom Planet’s “California.” “I Wish I Knew Natalie Portman” featured Saukrates and Nelly Furtado and the music video for the record went on to be nominated for a Best Hip Hop Video at the 2010 MMVAs.
We On Some Rich Kidd Shit Volume 3 dropped in 2009, featuring an introspective song by Drake featuring Saukrates entitled “The Search.” By spring, Rich Kidd was on the road touring western Canada with DJ Mensa and would later tour Australia furthering his growing reputation as a fearless, energetic performer. That year he also made his mark opening for The Clipse, Sean Price, Canadian Music Week showcase and Manifesto. He was coming into his own, landing a production credit on Shad’s Juno Award winning album, TSOL and received a nomination for 2010 Stylus Producer of the Year.
While he didn’t take home any hardware that year, he turned the corner as an artist and returned to the Stylus Awards in 2011 with five nominations. Fittingly, he won Artist Mixtape of the Year and rocked the Queen Elizabeth Theatre with a ruckus performance.
“That’s how you perform!” a shirtless Rich Kidd yelled to the capacity crowd to end his set.
“As a performer, entertainer and host the energy he brings to the table most definitely commands your attention,” says internationally renowned, Stylus Award winning DJ Wristpect. “Rich Kidd has a very unique and interesting sound. His production almost sounds like a mixture of some of my favourite producers (DJ Premier, Kanye West, Rza, Pete Rock, Just Blaze, Dr Dre), yet it is a sound that is completely his own. His ability to rap, sing, and compose/put together songs truly amazes me. He is hands down one of the nicest in the game and it’s only a matter of time before the world gets familiar with his raw talent.”
While he’d made great strides as a producer, MC and songwriter, 2011 also saw Rich Kidd spread his wings with his first directorial project “Trespassing.” A semi-biographical short film chronicling Rich Kidd’s struggle with his community and his art within a harsh urban environment, it was included in the City Life Film Project and debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival’s Bell Lightbox in fall 2010.
The accolades continued to roll in. While he opened for J. Cole, Jay Electronica, KRS One, Big Krit, Cory Gunz and Kendrick Lamar, the Toronto Star named him one of Toronto’s top 5 independent MCs.
“Take It Slow” served as Rich Kidd’s debut solo single as an artist that same fall of 2010. Fans finally got a clear look at the animated character that’d been playing the background for years and the video achieved medium rotation on MuchMusic and high rotation on MuchVibe.
The UK got their first taste of Rich Kidd’s unapologetic performance style in spring 2011 when he was selected as one of four artists to participate in Canadian Blast, a showcase of Canadian urban talent in England.
In summer 2011, MuchMusic’s Rapcity debuted Rich Kidd’s next video “Don’t Sleep On Me,” which further thrust the 24 year old into the national spotlight.
The game doesn’t stop; the stakes just keep getting bigger. Rich Kidd is a world class talent, whose home country embraces with open arms and the international audiences continue to learn about. His distinct productions anchor him as an undeniable musical force, while his refreshing lyrical ability and charismatic showmanship catapult him to new opportunities. Even with such far reaching accolades, it’s Rich Kidd’s intangibles that make him a threat to the status quo. The Kidd’s got a Rich future.
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