Label and release date: RichGains (2017)
Akeem: What stood out for me before I even listened to Gains was the calibre of its features: Todd Simon, Leon Q. Allen, Freddie Gibbs, Nico Segal . . . It’s already a successful album collaboration-wise before hearing it.
Brett: It was the analogue sound that stood out for me. The warmth of real instruments and natural voice is like a 2010s battle-cry. Gains is the kind of album that lives in a sunset haze of orange sun-beams shining through the window of an LA house with the likes of Asher Roth and the Blended Babies crew kicking back and blazing. Particularly on tracks Freedom2 and 7 Digits. Living it up, laid back style.
Akeem: 7 Digits is like a proud declaration of how much Freddie Gibbs and ZZ Ward have/want in their bank accounts. It’s a combination of jazz, hip-hop, soul and blues equally rolled together. And on Freedom2 Asher Roth pushes the beat along and allows the instrumental and Leon Q. Allen’s trumpet to do half the talking. It’s proper positive. Balance is a rare kind of song that celebrates having stability, and Nate Mercereau’s guitar lifts the beat so that it stands out just as much as the vocals.
Brett: She Gon’ Give Up On You so Take a Walk and Come Back Tomorrow was one of my favourite tracks on the album, and it’s just an instrumental.
Akeem: Sauce was one of my favourite tracks. It’s a cool instrumental you’d expect from one half of Blended Babies. The instrumentals on this album have something extra; they’re not plain beats. Grass Morning and Easy Like A Sunday are like opposites, one of them’s upbeat while the other’s chilled and hazy, and She Gon’ Give Up On You so Take a Walk and Come Back Tomorrow is a cheeky finish to the album.
Brett: RichGains has proved himself a unique talent that deserves to pop-off after this. After just one listen this quickly became a staple for my car aux and for kicking back with my friends. Track to track, there’s not a single time I ever feel any particular urge to skip. All of it’s solid. Instead there are just tracks that stand even taller than the rest. That’s rare for me, especially with hip-hop.
Akeem: It’s not unreasonable to say RichGains is one of the top musicians in hip-hop today.
Brett: It’s a chilled layering of hip-hop, jazz, funk and soul. Gains achieves a rare modern achievement of sounding fresh while remixing the best moments of the past. Honestly, if this guy doesn’t have 7 Digits in his bank account in the next few years it’s going to be hip hop’s loss.
Akeem: Favourite lyric: “If I seen through the same eyes as ten years ago I’m a decade behind.”
Brett: Favourite Lyric: “Freedom.”
You can buy Gains here