First Impressions: Rich The Kid – BOSS MAN

An Intro To Rich The Kid

Rich The Kid is a 27 year old rapper from New York who has been steadily dropping bangers on us for nearly a decade now. He starting rapping in the early 2010’s, dropping his first mixtape ‘Been About The Benjamin’s’ in 2013. Later that year he linked up with up and coming rap group Migos to release the first 2 instalments of their collaborative mixtape series ‘Streets On Lock’. 2014 saw the release of the third instalment of the ‘Streets On Lock’ series as well as RTK’s second mixtape ‘Feels Good 2 Be Rich’ which dropped in August and feature artists such as Young Thug, RiFF RAFF, French Montana and Jeremih. Rich closed out 2014 by releasing another mixtape that December titled ‘Rich Than Fanous’ with more big name features from YG and Gucci Mane among others.

Rich The Kid had a massive year in 2015, starting with the release of yet another collaborative project with Migos, this time being titled ‘Still On Lock’. He followed this up with the release of his ‘Flexin’ On Purpose’ mixtape in August, and then the 4th instalment of the ‘Streets On Lock’ series in October; a couple of mixtapes stacked with impressive features. RTK continued the grind by releasing an 8 song collaborative EP with iLoveMakonnen named ‘Whip It’ in November, and then on Christmas Eve he released his 5th and final project of the year; a mixtape titled ‘Dabbin Fever’. 2016 was a bit of a slow year in comparison, with RTK opening the year with his ‘Trap Talk’ mixtape in April, and closing the year by dropping his ‘Keep Flexin’ mixtape in October. Despite it being a slower year, both projects were stacked with great features and were quality mixtapes overall.

In June of 2017 Rich The Kid signed to Interscope Records, and 3 months later released his most popular song; the Kendrick Lamar assisted ‘New Freezer’. The single went platinum and really propelled his name into the mainstream, so after riding the wave for a few months he released his debut album ‘The World Is Yours’ in March of 2018. The album featured the previously mentioned Kendrick Lamar as well as other popular artists such as Lil Wayne, Swae Lee & Future, and was by far his most popular project thus far, peaking at number 2 on the Billboard200 and eventually going platinum. Rich The Kid dropped the sequel ‘The World Is Yours 2’ in March of 2019, with features from rappers such as Big Sean, Lil Pump & Jeremih. The album charged at number 4 and received generally good reviews.

And that brings us to 2020! On March 13th 2020 Rich The Kid dropped his third studio album ‘BOSS MAN’. The album was preceded by three singles; That’s Tuff in December, Money Talks in January, and Red on March 6th. It had 19 total songs and features from Lil Baby, DaBaby, Lil TJay, Nicki Minaj, Post Malone, Quavo, and Youngboy Never Broke Again. Below I’m going to review the album in 2 parts, first will be my short and unedited notes on each track as I listened through, and following that will be my thoughts on the album as a whole. I’ll include some links to stream the album and some discussion questions at the end. Enjoy!

Track By Track Review

1. Far From You – Strange piano at the start but it’s quite pleasant, the sample sounds like sampha, nice chill beat overall. Real introspective bars from Rich The Kid and some decent flows too. His delivery and flows match the beat really well, different vibe to the usual RTK song. Song is a little boring but acts well as an intro, on the fence about it overall.

2. Stuck Together (ft. Lil Baby) – Beat has these real haunting synths, is quite minimalistic otherwise. Really enjoy the song structure, RTK and Lil Baby sound great taking turns spitting bars. Both of them sounds great and have some solid flows and rhyme schemes. Hook is simple but is real enjoyable, love that each rapper handles half of the hook. Good song

3. Ray Charles – love the brass instrumentation along with the rattling hi-hats, banging beat. RIch flows super well on the verse and changes his flow up a bunch. Hook is interesting but is quite catchy. Song ended too soon, would have liked another verse but it was a enjoyable song still

4. Sick (ft. DaBaby) – Another catchy hook, the flows and delivery aren’t anything special but it’s definitely catchy which is the main thing. RTK’s verse is pretty average, basic flows throughout and the bars and rhymes are quite simple too. DaBaby has a much more high energy flow and exciting delivery, easily the better part of the track. Beat is nothing special, just an average song

5. Not Sorry (ft. Nicki Minaj) – Really enjoyable hook, is catchy but also has some great flows and a fun delivery. Love the beat, is quite minimal again but is interesting and just fun, great bass. Rich The Kid flows really well despite the odd instrumental, real good verse. Nicki has some funny bars and rides the beat amazingly. Has a wide range of impressive flows too, with a consistently solid delivery. Real good song

6. Red – Heard this when it dropped as a single and enjoyed it, is just your generic Rich The Kid banger, with this atmospheric bass heavy beat and a simple but catchy hook. However, I also am a big fan of the verses on this song, I think that they along with the melodic parts of the hook are the best part of the song. Real good song overall

7. V12 (ft. Post Malone) – Interesting Beat, is quite high pace and chaotic even. Post Malone’s melodies on the hook are quite pleasant, the flows and lyrics are nothing special but it’s still a fairly catchy hook. Rich The Kid does his thing on the verse, love how well he flows on the section where most of the beat fades out. Also enjoyed his more melodic rapping towards the end of the first verse, great versatility throughout the verse. More enjoyable flows on the second verse and his fair share of solid bars too, loved the melodic parts again. Another good song

8. For That – interesting beat again, strange synths and hard hitting bass, is good though. Verse has a couple good bars and an okay delivery but the flows and rhymes aren’t too good throughout. Hook is basic and not too catchy. Quite an average song

9. Depend On Me (ft. Lil TJay) – Rich The Kid delivers a great hook on this, some solid lyrics, enjoyable melodies, and he changes up his delivery a couple times. Lil TJay flows really impressively on this, real high energy flow over a real low energy instrumental but it works really well. Verse has some good rhymes too, only problem is it feels like it’s too short, would’ve liked another few bars. Rich has another decent verse, changes up his flows and delivery enough to keep the verse exciting. Isn’t an amazing verse in any way but is good enough to not detract from the song, good song overall

10. Easy – Love the eerie vibes set by the synths in the beat. Hook has a good range of flows and some solid rhyme schemes, catchy hook overall. Verse has similarly good flows and rhymes and a decently delivery throughout as well. Song felt like it was 3/4 hook but I enjoy the hook so it’s a good song overall, would have just liked another verse to end it

11. About My Business – Beat is quite basic, isn’t too special. First verse has some high points but for the most part it’s pretty generic, basic flows and a mediocre delivery. Second verse is pretty simple too, some enjoyable parts but is mostly average. Hook has a nice flow to it, especially omg he second half. Is a good hook but not the best. Just an average track overall

12. No Loyalty – Beat has this real calming atmospheric vibe, super pleasant synths, almost hypnotic. Love the change ups in delivery from RTK on the hook, really enjoyable delivery and the whole hook flows amazingly. Verse carries on really well from the hook, and his flows and delivery aren’t too different either but are enjoyable regardless. Second verse is more exciting than the first, steps up the intensity of his delivery at times and it sounds great. Really good song, one of my favourites so far

13. Ain’t No Doubts – Enjoy the melodic start to the hook, love the change up in pace a few bars into it, Hook bangs. Verses are solid, have a real enjoyable laid-back flow from Rich, and a similarly enjoyable delivery to the hook. Some real solid rhymes and bars too, in the second verse especially. Really like the singing-like delivery at the end of the second verse. Song felt like it was lacking something, but was a real good song regardless

14. You – Generic trappy drums but the beat has this subtle little guitar melody that is super pleasant, is a nice contrast. Hook is like generic and poppy sounding but I’m loving the melodic delivery used throughout and think it’s super catchy overall. Rich has a good mix of chill raps and melodic-flows during the first verse and even some singing, all thoroughly enjoyable though. Second verse is great too, good variety of flows and delivery, whole thing is calming and yet it bangs at the same time. Great song, Rich The Kid is surprisingly good at love songs

15. Racks On (ft. Youngboy Never Broke Again) – Another mix of trappy drums and a pleasant guitar melody, this is a bit more of a generic trap beat though. Another catchy melodic hook that is catchy and bangs too. RTKs delivery isn’t the best on his verse, and his flow is pretty one dimensional throughout. Love the transition from the hook to the Youngboh feature. Really enjoyable melodic flows from NBA Youngboy, some decent bars and quality rhymes too, easily the better of the verses. Big fan of the structure of this song, has like this little intro-outro section that is quite enjoyable. On the fence about this overall, think I like it though

16. I Want Mo – Has like this beach party vibe, really fun combination of synths and bass. Hook is catchy but nothing too special, has some good rhymes and a decent flow to it. Verses have a real enjoyable flow to them, Rich rides the beat super well and switches his delivery up a bit, with some decent bars as well. Good song but nothing too special

17. Over With – interesting beat on this one, love the bass. Another enjoyable melodic hook from Rich, is surprisingly pleasant and quite catchy too. RTK kills this love song vibe again with a real solid first verse, is nothing special but his melodic delivery works amazingly over this instrumental. Second verse is just as enjoyable. Song is just nice start to end, good but not great

18. That’s Tuff (ft. Quavo) – Heard this one when it dropped and enjoyed it. Has a real addictive beat and a simple but catchy hook. Quavo kills his feature, and Rich The Kid delivers a quality performance too. Isn’t a great song, but is above average

19. Money Talk (ft. Youngboy Never Broke Again) – Heard this one when it dropped too and have been a big fan ever since. Super catchy guitar melody in the beat and the hook is ridiculously catchy too, with a thoroughly enjoyable performance from both Rich and Youngboy. Each of the rappers kill their verses too, each riding the beat super well and delivering a bunch of solid bars. Great song overall

Album Review

I’ll preface this by letting you know I consider myself a big fan of Rich The Kids, so this may be a little bias and I’m sure my opinion will differ to the majority if his last couple of albums are anything to go by.

Overall I thought BOSS MAN was a super enjoyable listen, which was consistently good all the way through in pretty much every department. Lots of the features came through with a really impressive performance, Rich The Kid himself continued to impress me with his catchy hooks and fun raps, and the production was interesting and varied throughout the project. This album just ticked all my boxes and based off my one listen I think it’s much more consistently enjoyable than his last 2 albums. It may not have any 10/10 tracks, but almost every track was above average, and many were in the 8-9/10 range.

Astoundingly there were only 3-4 tracks that I didn’t like, so I’ll give a quick shout out to those first. Although ‘Far From You’ acted as a nice intro track I feel like it doesn’t have much replayability as a stand-alone track. I felt like ‘Sick’ was decent but was brought down by a weak Rich The Kid performance. I thought that both ‘For That’ & ‘About My Business’ were both pretty average in almost every way, just real basic flows and bars with barely any standout moments.

So that obviously leaves 15 songs that I thought were at least good, an impressive effort I think! With so many enjoyable songs and standout moments I could write a massive write up, but I’m going to try restrict it to just my favourite moments. The production throughout almost the entirety of the album was crisp, interesting, and varied from song to song; I think there were only a couple of songs that lacked some kind of exciting moment or instrumentation. Probably the best thing about the production was the variation, whether it was generic trap production on songs such as ‘Depend On Me’ & ‘Ain’t No Doubts’, the addictive saxophone melodies on ‘Ray Charles’, or the laid back atmospheric vibe set on songs such as ‘No Loyalty’ & ‘Red’; the production is clean, catchy, and often unique. Fortunately in the case of this album, Rich The Kid compliments almost every beat perfectly, really showcasing his impressive versatility all through BOSS MAN. He goes HAM spitting flurries of fun bars and catchy flows on songs such as ‘Easy’ and ‘I Want Mo’, he provides some seriously impressive melodies on ‘You’ & ‘Over With’, and is on hook duty for almost every song, with many of the hooks including ‘Not Sorry’ & ‘Red’ being among the catchiest if the year. This album was full of great moments from Rich The Kid, personally he exceeded my expectations, which were high to begin with.

The final thing which I though was great about this album was the features, with none of them really letting me down. Lil Baby and Rich The Kid had some amazing chemistry on the haunting banger ‘Stuck Together’. Nicki Minaj started a bit slow on ‘Not Sorry’ but it progressed super well and ended up being one of my favourite Nicki features in recent times. DaBaby brought a great energy to ‘Sick’, it was just a shame RTK didn’t match the energy. Post Malone provided a super catchy hook on ‘V12’, and Lil TJay was a great addition for the introspective Track ‘Depend On Me’. Quavo was probably my least favourite feature on the album but that’s mainly because of strong competition; his feature on ‘That’s Tuff’ was still decent and added to the song as a whole. And finally, Youngboy Never Broke Again came through with 2 impressive features, helping RTK out with a fire verse on Racks On, and spitting both a verse and half of the catchy hook on ‘Money Talk’. So overall a lot of impressive features, and still I felt the highlights were the RTK verses and solo songs.

So yeah, considering I enjoyed 15-16 out of 19 tracks, in the end I really enjoyed this album. At this point it’s easily in my top 5 projects of the year, and is probably my favourite Rich The Kid project in recent years. Not only does the album showcase RTK’s fun side with a bunch of bragadocious bangers, but it really shines a spotlight on the versatility that so many critics state he lacks. I’ve always liked slower Rich The Kid songs, and this project has a number of those which are all executed excellently. If you’ve liked any past RTK projects or been on the fence about getting into him, I’d strongly urge you to take that leap and listen to his music now! This album is a great starting point and everything before it is almost as good; with every one of his projects that I’ve listened to (about 8) being better than I was expecting.

Final Notes

You can stream the album on Spotify here, or on Apple Music here!

Or you can listen for free on YouTube here!

‘That’s Tuff’ Music Video

‘Money Talk’ Music Video

‘Red’ Music Video

‘Far From You’ Music Video

‘Easy’ Music Video

‘No Loyalty’ Music Video

My Favourite Songs were literally all of them except Sick, For That, About My Business, and possibly ‘Far From You’.

What were your favourite songs on BOSS MAN?

Who did you think had the best feature on the project?

Do you think Rich The Kid is a good artist, or am I the only one?

Thanks For Reading!

– Shan –

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