Monday 4 November 2013

#MixtapeMonday - Richard Rich: Hallways

Lyrics & Delivery: 2.5/5.0
Production: 3.4/5.0
Overall Score: 2.9/5.0

Review by MrReesh - Pioneer of the revolutionary thermal powered ice - @MrReesh

As I sit here on the bus pondering whether this attractive lady in front of me has issues or whether she simply forgot to shower, my mind drifts to the concept of potential, more specifically squandered potential. See she would standardly receive a swift testimony on the benefits of giving me her number, but she squandered that potential on smelling... offensive. It's frustrating, and that in an odd smelling nutshell is exactly what I think of Richard Rich's mixtape, Hallways.

See you can hear the unrefined talent in Richard Rich; he's not a bad rapper, it's just for the most part he tends to make some poor choices. For example he comes up with the interesting concept of hallways representing the different hallways life takes you down, but what do you get when you listen to the titular track Hallways? An empty three minutes which borders on disjointed rambling with an ending so awkward sometimes I fake a phone call just to get out of listening to it. But then, when you listen to Brooklyn, a chilled nostalgic head-bopper, which flows into a similarly chilled and nostalgic second half you're like “Oh my (relevant religious figure), there's hope yet!”. It's this constant up and down that lets you know Rich has something, but neither you nor him knows exactly what that is.

Google search result when I searched what Richard
was talking about
One of the main negatives I have about Hallways is that sometimes you don't know what the hell Richard is talking about either because you can't actually understand him, or because you just don't care. For example in Wear My Hat, he goes into a long verse thing where he mentions strawberries, but despite him mentioning one of the world's most delicious non-tropical fruits, you just don't care. It's a similar feeling to when your mum tells you something like “Son, your hair is on fire” and “you're just like “YEAH MUM, I'LL PUT IT OUT LATER OKAY, GOSH.” Additionally Richard's needless use of off singing and missed rhymes can get distracting, as seen in several songs including the totally avoidable Wear My Hat or Glorious. There are times when it works however, as seen in the highly decent Queens, but the times where he uses it badly stand out more as they're more frequent and more severe.

One of Richard Rich's best points however is his ability to create genuine music. Take Brooklyn or Staying/Leaving for example, where Rich is relaxed, comfortable, not forcing anything and simply allowing the words to cascade from brain to pen. Brilliant. Now I'm not saying the rest of the mixtape is a pale-faced lie, but these songs feel especially truthful, with a similar performance coming from Queens and Philadelphia. It's just a shame that you have to go through the whole roller-coaster of goodness in order to get to them.

Overall Hallways is average, but very-nearly-if-you-stretch-your-ears good, it just frustrates me that he comes up with this Hallways concept, but then goes nowhere with it. Sure I suppose each song could be a seen as a different hallway of life but there's nothing to bring it all together, so it just feels like a bunch of different papers in a folder marked Hallways, rather than something you can look to and think “yup, this is Hallways”. And for those reasons I must sadly smite it to the land of lowly averagedom, with the staff of mediocrity.

My Top 3:
1) Brooklyn
2) Staying/Leaving
3) Queens

Listen below, but don't listen to We In Here. Trust me.

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