Issue 42 (2002)
“England just won three nil, I’m sure your glad to know,” Richy sarcastically remarked referring to the recent UK World Cup victory that had just taken place. “I don’t want to get into a big political thing, but I think America needs to get on the case and see what’s going on around the rest of the world.”
What more fitting statement to begin with, as it adequately describes Richy Pitch’s recent foray into the American hiphop scene that he has been unbeknownst to up until the release of the new EP “Live At Home” flanked by the roster off of Seven Heads Entertainment.
“I emailed Wes [Jackson] about the Unspoken Heard 12”, “Better b/w Smiley”, to inquire about the production. I also mentioned that I DJ for a club in England called Scratch, which is the largest hiphop club in London, if not the whole UK. When he contacted me back with the producer’s info, he asked if I knew any promoters to help them because they were looking to come over. I was up for doing it because I was a big fan of theirs and since he was bringing Unspoken Heard, J-Live, and Lone Catalyst it was a great package.”
Richy went on to set up a tour throughout the UK for the Seven Heads crew booking clubs and mainstream radio spots as well. Aside from promoting the shows, Richy also chauffeured the groups throughout town. While they were driving around he entertained them by playing various beats he had in his archives, including the typewriter beat that would be featured as a bonus cut on the J-Live album, “All of The Above” and later re-appear on the “Live At Home” EP.
“I played them some beats and they showed some interest, so I sent a CD out to them. A few months later Wes said they wanted to use “Live At Home” for the Unspoken Heard album. I went over and recorded that and I also told Wes that the whole CD was a concept and though “Live at Home” was used on the Unspoken Heard project it was something I wanted to put together describing music peoples’ lives at home. I sent another CD out and all the tracks were used for the new project.”
With tracks like “The Lyricist” and “Phone Bizness” Richy shows his penchant for producing unordinary beats. Both cuts employ random sounds such as a typewriter and a telephone ring, incorporating them as intricate parts of the track. Ideas such as these come as a bi-product of Richy listening to a lot of hiphop and doing reviews for several of UK’s hiphop publications.
“There is loads of good hiphop around and there is a lot of hiphop that just gets missed. You hear them and their just not classic. I’m not saying my stuff is classic, but I wanted to make tracks that had some thought into them. Rather than having just a beat and a rap like most people do, I wanted to give it a little edge and have some ideas behind it. I like to try to make stuff that’s a little bit quirky, but also musical.”
Taking it one step beyond your average producer project Richy made sure the songs were cohesive. It’s normal practice for him to think of an idea or storyline to go along with each beat he makes. With the “Live At Home” EP the titles and subject matter for each track were already chosen. In turn the artists he worked with already had the framework to make the songs and were given the green light to create a hook and give the theme a personal touch with their lyrics. Though artists like Mr. Complex, Asheru, Apani, and El Da Sensei gave their own spin on the ideas presented to them, overall the music gives an accurate portrayal of an average day in Richy’s life. Regardless who is behind the mic, universal topics such as waking up and preparing for the day, working on music, or dealing with business over the phone give you an idea of how different and yet extremely similar the lives of musicians can be. While other producer oriented LPs can quickly become compilations where it’s hard to tell where the producer stands, Richy makes it clear one of his expectations from any production album is that you to get to know the beat maker. “Just to go that little bit further than just sounding like a good producer, but hopefully this [says] that this guy’s got brains and can come up with some interesting ideas. I hope that’s something that people will pick up on.” Going further is just what he does as the “Live At Home” theme transcends the music with the cover, drawn by Ben Riley, providing a visual reflection of Richy’s daily routine, bringing the concept full circle throughout the artwork, beats, and rhymes.
Noticeably absent on the “Live At Home” project, however, is the presence of any UK rhymesayers. While it would seem logical that Richy would put at least one of his fellow countrymen on the EP, it was a decision made out of circumstance. He already had an idea of what MCs he wanted and with the project coming off of Seven Heads it was only right to fully use the stable of artists available to him. Though it seems more like a business move, the lack of any English MCs was more than just an ease of logistics.
“I haven’t been working with anyone in the UK on the regular. The people I want to work with were kind of untouchable. I didn’t know them and they didn’t know my music, so I didn’t really pursue them. I’ve been making music for a long time and I’ve been patient with it. I’ve been waiting and hoping that I would meet up with the right people. It’s just kind of gone the other way. That’s just the way it is, I hooked up with Seven Heads and it all seemed to fall into place.”
Ironically, his work with Americans has helped develop more connections with other artists in the UK. After hearing “The Lyricist” 12”, Ty, one of the MCs Richy was interested in working with, approached him to do a track on his album. Aside from that he has several projects in the development including work with a ragga MC Tukka Yoot and a singer named Randolph Matthews. While hiphop is his main thing don’t be surprised to also see some Richy Pitch on the credits of some Drum and Bass / funky house or R&B remixes. “I hope to be similar to a DJ Spinna. He does hiphop, but touches into other music as well. You’ll probably see that from me as well.”
Pick up Richy Pitch’s “Live at Home” EP in stores now off of Seven Heads Entertainment and the single “The Lyricist” b/w “The Time is Right.” Also be on the lookout for Scratch Vol. 2 coming soon.