Slava P ghost-writes for Rich Hil.

When Jay Electronica released “Exhibit C” before falling off the face of the earth and feet-first into some royal British poontang, his message of hyper-intellectual chakra-rap went with him. Personally, what I missed most about him isn’t his metaphysical lyrical miracles, thanks in part to cats like Ab Soul and The Underachievers picking up the slack and rapping about crystals with healing properties or Mecca or whatever. No, what I missed most about the great void that Jay Electronica left behind was his booming and commanding voice, a voice that constantly managed to be both self-assured and one word away from a punchline at all times. That was until I heard Rich Kidd.

Although he has been putting out mixtapes continuously since 2007 with his We On Some Rich Kidd Shit series, he didn’t hone his chops behind the microphone until early 2009. Before that, he had been instrumental to crafting the sound of the second wave of Toronto talent to hit the global market, with his mixtapes acting as testing grounds for such acts as Nickelus F, Andreena Mill and yes, Prince Drizzy. His beats even managed to find their way into the hands of such hip-hop heavyweights as DMX, Busta Rhymes and Redman, all of whom looked to get their hands on Kidd’s booming sample-based instrumentals in the hopes of revitalizing their respective flailing careers.

Now, six years deep and a live-performance staple of the Toronto music scene, Rich Kidd is working on releasing a salvo of new music that represents both the city he’s come from and the experience he’s amassed while working within all levels of it. Just last year, Rich Kidd achieved Canadian Rap Diplomat status by not only releasing a Juno nominated (don’t laugh) East meets West joint-project with Vanouverite Son Real, but also appearing on a collaborative project with Canada’s original greatest export, Maestro Fresh Wes. That’s right, the “Backbone Slide” guy.

Rich Kidd’s latest music releases, “Syke” and “Can I Get A Bom Bom” are both self-produced and pay tribute to the local slang that came from the islands and settled in the North. They’re from opposite sides of the spectrum: “Syke” is an energetic high-tempo track, while “Bom Bom” is a slowed down look at the goon-culture that has become prevalent in Toronto in recent years (thanks Roney). Both songs will be featured on Rich Kidd’s In My Opinion due out later this month and will be the precursor to his full-length studio album, to be executive produced by Young Guru. Yes, that Young Guru. I guess the moral of the story is that when God closes one Electronica circuit, he opens another somewhere else.

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