It would be fair to say Rich Quick’s name is chosen with a wry sense of humor – he’s likely to get anything but. That’s not for lack of talent – in fact he’s already made a name for himself with well received mixtapes like the DJ NoPhrillz and Benja Styles hosted “I’m With the DJ.” It’s more likely to be a factor of his refusal to compromise and make the kind of music that would take him mainstream. Lightning does occasionally strike and artists like Macklemore reach the national and international “household name” status, but if you sit around waiting for lightning to strike the rent goes unpaid and your gas and water gets shut off. Then again if your rap name was Metriculating Money Slowly, you probably wouldn’t get paid any time or attention let alone ducats. That’s just how hip-hop is.
Even by the conventions of being unconventional though, Rich Quick is taking a quick risk with the brief but impactful “Sad Songz” EP. Emcees often don’t want to get in touch with their emotions, unless that emotion is righteous anger at perceived injustices, and that can be anything from a sucker MC dissing to a cop’s racial profiling. Rich Quick is definitely going to stand out with “Songz” like “Cry” though, which sounds to my ear like a screwed and chopped version of Crowded House’s pop hit “Don’t Say It’s Over” from the mid-1980’s. It’s probably a coincidence, but what’s not is that both songs have a big dramatic musical sweep that echoes behind the lyrics. Quick is not your posturing macho emcee, and he addresses the listener as though they’re his therapist and he’s sitting on the couch:
“I was the most selfish man in the world, and
she was my girlfriend – imagine that! Cause I can never have it back
My habitat a whirlwind; no tellin’ when the world end
and spirit begin or what city I’ll meet a girl in
She grilled me e’ry second ’bout goin’ out, when I’se just tryin to make it
She was showin out, I swear – she bought this crown I wear
I clowned guys stared at her when I’se around I cared none
She was a rare one, I felt some’n and now we well done”
It’s easy to dig this song on multiple levels. The production of STREECE (Stress the White Boy and Chuck Treece) is as mentioned ambient and moody, and Rich has a naturally likeable flow that’s reminiscent of Macklemore – he’s talking about topics that make sense for him in a conversational and unpretentious way. The cleverness Quick shows puts him over the top, as the whole cooking meat metaphor of relationships (“rare” and “well done”) can go by without being noticed, yet adds an extra layer of depth to his words when you catch it. The honesty Quick shows is another plus, as on the song “Traveling Man,” where he admits his wanderlust might be his own worst enemy when it comes to a committed relationship.
In only 18:40 you can only draw so many conclusions about the Philadelphia by way of Woodbury stylings of Rich Quick, but you can also say that he maximizes his time by not making mistakes. The jazzy and upbeat “Say You Love Me” is the right combination of plaintive begging and cocksure macking. “Lonely” may be the result of that macking backfiring, but the sped up sample and uptempo rap are a win. The Carribean sounding percussion of “Nice Guy” and Rich’s winning personality are stripped down to almost the essence, but adding more to it would only muddy it up. I find it difficult to offer high praise to short albums because I always think over the long haul a rapper’s true strengths or weaknesses come through more clearly, but for only five songs to go on Rich Quick has impressed me enough to want more.