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culture

Sound Advice: We on Some Rich Kidd Shiiiiiiit Vol. 7: The People’s Champ by Rich Kidd

Rich Kidd doesn't disappoint on his latest summer mixtape.

00 Rich Kidd Shit

When Rich Kidd released the first in his series of We on Some Rich Kidd Shiiiiiiit mixtapes back in 2007, he was a largely unknown producer trying to make a name for himself. Seven years later, Kidd has a list of production credits as long as your arm, and is probably Toronto’s number-one MC (or at least, Toronto’s number-one MC who’s not also a former teen soap star).

The latest edition of Kidd’s annual summer mixtape series is subtitled The People’s Champ. That’s a pretty ambitious statement to make, but Kidd more than lives up to it, both in terms of production and rhymes.

As a producer, Kidd shows amazing breadth on People’s Champ. He’s equally at home creating a laid-back, funk-influenced beat for Casey Veggies on “Summer, I Suppose,” as he is providing lush, horn-driven orchestral-type arrangements for Ill Camille on “Nostalgia.” Particularly impressive are the melancholic, film-noir-inspired jazz that backs Frankie Payne on “Dangerous” and the reworked take on classic boom-bap that is The Antiheroes’ “So Easy.”

As an MC, Kidd is sounding much more polished than ever before. His wordplay on “It’s Real Like That” and “When it Go Down” is nimble and dexterous. What’s really impressive, though, is his ability to tell a story. “When it Go Down” may not be deep, but its tale of a day in the life of Rich Kidd is filled with clever asides and funny imagery. Storytelling rap isn’t easy, but Kidd nails it. (You can listen to “When it Go Down” by clicking on the sample above.)

Kidd really is the people’s champ in Toronto. He still hasn’t signed a major-label deal, but he enjoys rock-star status around the city and regularly outshines American headliners when he’s booked as supporting talent. The city loves this guy. The People’s Champ shows why.

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